Dec. 13. 1942- May 10, 2016
Ellis Verdun Lysne was born on December 13, 1942 in Rugby, North Dakota, to Lloyd and Edith (Crawford) Lysne. He was baptized at First Lutheran Church in Rugby. He attended North Dakota State University in Fargo from 1960-1963, transferring to Moorhead State College and graduating with a B.S. degree in education in 1964. Ellis student taught in Fergus Falls, and then began his teaching career in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, teaching Junior High School mathematics. He went on to teach for four years in northwest Iowa at Clay (County) Central consolidated schools, and began teaching in Northfield in 1970. In Northfield he taught Junior High School mathematics. He earned his Masters’ Degree, Media Specialist, from Mankato State University. He then served in the Media Center, retiring in 2001 after 37 years of teaching. He was an active member of the local teachers’ association, providing leadership in the area of legislative action and teachers’ rights.
Ellis married Carol Olson at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Minnesota on June 4, 1965. They have been active members of Bethel Lutheran Church in Northfield, where Ellis
served as an usher, as congregational chair, and on numerous committees. He generously shared his media skills producing presentations for various groups around town. Ellis was a woodworker, a photography buff, and a tech resource for anyone who knew him. He was a problem solver and seldom declined a request for help. His lifelong interests included becoming an amateur (ham) radio operator (call letters kÿrrw) and a member of the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) at age of 15. During the Viet Nam years, he participated in the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS), providing radio connections for servicemen and their families in an era when the cell phone was science fiction. He also had a lifelong interest in flying courtesy of uncles who were early pilots in North Dakota. He spent many hours building, flying and crashing radio control model airplanes. He was PADI certified in scuba diving and fondly regaled about his dives in Lake Superior. He was always interested in passing on the love of hobby to his beloved grandchildren. He regularly encouraged them to look ahead to new challenges and adventures.
In 1985, Ellis and Carol purchased a “rustic” cabin on Upper Bottle Lake near Park Rapids. Ellis enjoyed his summers there and improved the property beyond its “rustic” status. He served as President and Membership Coordinator of the ESB lake association for several years. After his retirement, the couple enjoyed traveling to destinations that included Alaska, Mexico, Norway, Italy, and dozens of U.S. National Parks. Following their move from Fareway Drive, Ellis served as President of the Liberty Park Townhome Association for several years.
Family and friends valued Ellis for his quiet strength and good humor. They always counted on his patience in his teaching and tutoring. Ellis was a lifelong friend to many. His most recent church activity was as a trained Befriender, and he was among the founding members of the Northfield Hospital’s Cancer Treatment Support Group. Throughout his 6-1/2-year treatment for cancer, he sustained positivity and hopefulness, and encouraged those attitudes in others. He and Carol shared their cancer journey regularly on CaringBridge. His supportive presence will be missed. His caring and patient kindness extended beyond his friends and family to the nearly ever-present cats that completed the household.
Ellis passed away on May 10, 2016.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carol, his children: Kristin (Matt) van Wyk of Deephaven (MN), and Maren (Michael) Nelson of Oakdale (MN); grandchildren Tryg and Signe van Wyk, his
sister, Kathy (Dennis) Mortenson of Cottage Grove (MN); many cousins and family members, and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A celebration of Ellis’ life will be held on Sunday May 15, 2016, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Northfield.
Visitation will be held at Bethel from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and one hour before the service at the church. Interment will be private at Oaklawn Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to Bethel Lutheran Church, Northfield Hospice, or CaringBridge.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com
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