Alice Bjella Ellingson, 93
June 24, 1921 ~ June 24, 2014
Alice Ellingson lived her life to be kind, loving, and a great dancer. She made it her mission to sincerely value everyone she met and make sure they knew it.
Alice Bjella Ellingson, died on her 93rd birthday, June 24, 2014 at the St. Cloud Hospital, surrounded by her family.
A Celebration of Life service will be Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Salem Lutheran Church, 90 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Burial will be in the Minne- sota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN. Funeral arrangements by Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, MN.
Alice Irene Bjella was born June 24, 1921 in McIntosh, MN to Levor and Amelia Bjella. She graduated in 1938 from McIntosh High School. During WWII, Alice was appalled at the treatment of the Jewish people in Poland, and decided to enlist in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps in 1943. Sergeant Bjella was honorably discharged from the Women's Army Corps in 1946. Alice completed a BA in Psych- ology at the University of Minnesota in 1949, grad- uating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in just 3 years. She enjoyed living and working in Minneapolis. After graduating college, Alice met Herman Ellingson, and they were married December 4, 1949.
In 1951 the young couple established a beekeeping/apiary business, settling in Odessa, MN. They tended their hives in western Minnesota from late spring and through early fall, and then traveled to warmer areas so that Herman could work for other beekeepers over the winter. When their oldest child started first grade, Alice stayed in Odessa with the children while Herman continued to add to their colonies of pollinators. She kept a full schedule running the household and keeping the books, as well as taking on community responsibilities, volunteering for the Red Cross, and serving on boards of directors for organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging, West Central Industries, Ortonville Health Care Board, and Big Stone Community Homes/Monarch Heights. She was an active member of First English Lutheran Church and especially enjoyed singing in the choir. She involved her children in music, 4-H, Sunday School, athletics, and working in the business when they became old enough to help.
In 1993, after she had retired, Alice moved to St. Cloud, where she enjoyed volunteering with local theatre, politics, the VA hospital, Whitney Senior Center activities, and caring for her grandchildren. She was an active member of the local chapter of Women in the Military. Alice joined Salem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud and was very active and involved in ministries there. She was a current member of Salem¹s Sanctuary Choir and she continued to find joy in singing and music.
She is survived by a large loving family, every one of whom she prayed for every day. Her children; Gary of St. Paul, David and Debbie of Ortonville, Suzey and Tobin of St. Paul, Patty and Roger Jensen of St. Cloud, Jim and Louise of Minneapolis, and John and Wanda of Sauk Rapids. Her grandchildren; Stacie and Nathan Falk of Stoughton WI, Stephen and Katie of Green Bay, WI, Alicia of Ortonville, Kyle and Rachel Jensen of Plymouth, Holly and Clay of Watertown, SD, Jared and Amy Jensen of Fargo, ND, Brett Jensen of St. Cloud, and Erik of Sauk Rapids. She is also survived by ten great-grandchildren, her sister-in-law Mavis Bjella of Fargo, ND and daughter-in-law Beverly of Forestville WI, and her beloved nieces and nephews, who came from various areas of the U.S. to attend her annual birthday party near her birthplace.
She was preceded by her parents, husband Herman in 1976, an infant daughter, and step son Ron Ellingson.
Memorials are preferred to Salem Lutheran Church.
Benson Funeral Home
1111 25th Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301
Published in the St. Cloud Times on July 13, 2014