Obituary of Odilia A Ellis
Odilia A. Ellis, age 97 of Yankton, SD passed away Saturday, January 7, 2023, at Sister James Care Center, Yankton, SD. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM, Friday, January 13, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Yankton, SD with Rev. Kwen Sanderson officiating. Burial will be in the Yankton, Cemetery, Yankton, SD. Visitations will be 5 to 7 PM, Thursday, January 12, 2023, at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Crematory, Yankton, SD with a Scripture service at 7:00 PM. Visitations will resume one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences may be sent at: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com. Live streaming of Odilia’s services will be found at: https://my.gather.app/remember/odilia-ellis.
Odilia Anna Ellis was born July 30, 1925, one of six children, to Michael and Anna H (Wubben) Goeden, in Fordyce, NE. She married Orval Ellis on May 18, 1945 in Elk Point, SD. They started their lives together and were blessed with five children.
Sister, wife, mother, sister-in-law, aunt, Grandma, Great grandma, and coming in June 2023 Great-great grandma, are all titles bestowed upon Odilia (Dilly) Ellis. Each one had very special meaning to her and she valued the family member that they corresponded to.
A hardworking mother of five held faith and family high on her list of priorities. As a long time member of Trinity Lutheran Church she could be seen every Sunday marching those five little ones to the 3rd or 4th pew on the left side of the center aisle every single Sunday. As the years went by that pew was filled with her children’s spouses, eleven grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren at various times as they came to visit. She instilled in her children the importance of a faith-based life that has been passed on to their children as well.
Odilia was raised with good work ethics and never complained about a task put before her. She was an avid gardener and with her children sold their produce in Yankton. Truck farming was a way of life but to her it was also a labor of love. She enjoyed her flower gardens and was also known in the area for her apples she would pick and sell from the orchard Orval had planted. That extra money came in handy at Christmas. Alongside her husband, Orval, they owned and operated Ellis Salvage until 1968. She also worked seasonally at Gurney Seed and Nursery. Her co-workers enjoyed the conversations shared with her because she loved to talk about her family. In 1975, Orval and son Tony created Ellis Auto Parts where Odilia did the bookkeeping until 1982 when Tony’s wife Donna took over those duties.
Over the years on Sunday afternoons, she and Orval could be found attending auction sales in the area. She was his girl Friday and would make sure the purchases got to the trailer or pickup safely until they got home. It was a treat (sometimes) to unpack their treasures from that day and take stock of what they had to use or sell. She was Orval’s right hand when it came to forming and pouring concrete. Always willing to jump in where needed, she mastered the screed. When visitors would come to the house she could be found watering the cows, feeding the cats or gardening.
Later in life the two of them did some travelling with family, bank bus trips and casino junkets. She enjoyed it all but her back issues made it harder to continue. After some time, a back surgery got her up and going again always in high gear.
Odilia had a heart of gold. Her love of life was filled with playing Kings Corner and Rummy with the family and teaching BINGO and Solitaire, her favorite games, to the younger ones gathered around her kitchen table. Holidays were an important part of family time. All would gather at Grandma’s “pink house” for the annual Easter egg hunt, too much food at Thanksgiving and a house full of love and laughter at Christmas. Traditions we still talk about. Visits would always include a trip, or two, to her bottomless candy jar that sat on the end table at the West end of the davenport! Many nieces and nephews have fond memories of spending time with “Aunt Dilly” too.
She was a lifetime member of The Center and a member of the VFW Auxiliary 791, where she held the office of Treasurer, Women of the Moose and UCT. In 2016 Odilia moved into Majestic Bluffs Assisted Living at the age of 91. Later she moved to Sister James Care Center and appreciated the loving care and compassion shown to her during her stay.
She may be a lady who enjoyed many titles in life but to all who loved her “GRAND…” fits her the best.
She is survived by her five children: Sharon (Gary) Lindgren of Mason City, IA, Steve Ellis of Tabor, SD, Donna (Jay) Heintz of Surprise, AZ, Tony (Donna) Ellis of Yankton and Marilu (Terry ) Roberts of Omaha, NE; ten grandchildren: Brian (Julie) Lindgren, Julie (Sean) Wolfe, Staci (Joe) Edmonds, Shawn (Trisha) Ellis, Shelly (Mark) Nelson, Ken Thomsen, Jacki (Jeremy)Olson, Traci (Adam) Peterson, Melisa Goeden, Johanna (Rich) Braesch and Casey Goeden and her seventeen great grandchildren; sister-in-laws Ethel Goeden , Alice Ellis and numerous nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Orval in 1999; her parents; brothers and their wives : Joe, Ignatius (Laura Mae), Lawrence (Josephine); sisters: Mildred (George) Ryan, Delores (Joe) Novak; daughter-in-law Kaye Ellis, grandson Nick Goeden and special friend Herman Goeken.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Odilia Ellis, please visit Tribute Store
In Loving Memory
1925 - 2023
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