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Ellen M. Jepsen

February 22, 1918 March 10, 2012
Ellen M. Jepsen
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Obituary for Ellen M. Jepsen

Ellen M. Jepsen, 94, resident of Luck, WI died Saturday, March 10, 2012, at Comforts of Home in Frederic, WI.


Ellen Marie (Osterlund) Jepsen was born on her father’s birthday, Feb. 22, 1918, to Peter and Meta (Hansen) Osterlund at Jersey City, N.J. She grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and as a teenager began playing the organ and piano at Our Saviors Danish Evangelical Church.


After graduation from John Adams High School on Long Island, N.Y., she worked for a short time as a telephone operator and a beautician.


In the fall of 1937, she attended Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, where she met her future husband, Alvin L. Jepsen. They were married Aug. 4, 1939, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. After their marriage, they moved to Morristown, Ind., where Alvin was teaching. Their daughter, Mary Ellen, was born in June, 1942, and later that year they moved to Prescott, where Alvin continued to teach. Their son, Larry, was born in 1945, and in 1946 they moved to Alvin’s home farm in West Denmark near Luck. Their son Gary was born in 1950.


Shortly after moving to West Denmark, Ellen became the organist at the West Denmark Lutheran Church and continued as organist for the next 60 years. Through the years, she played for many church services, weddings, funerals and all the Danish celebrations including dancing around the Christmas tree, Fastelavens and Aebleskiver suppers.


Alvin and Ellen became 4-H leaders for the Little Butternut 4-H Club and Ellen taught 60-plus 4-H members Danish folk dancing. She accompanied the well-known dancers on her accordion. They performed at many Wisconsin state events and parades. She was a 4-H leader for 55 years. The Jepsens were foster parents for 13 children until Ellen became employed at the Frederic Hospital in 1957. She was later employed at the Frederic Clinic and the Luck Medical Clinic.


She was very active in the West Denmark Ladies Aid, the Luck Senior Citizens, TOPS, Luck, as a KOPS for 20 years and The Get-Togethers, a musical group that traveled to nursing homes in Polk and surrounding counties. Along with her music, she enjoyed gardening and her houseplants, crafts of all kinds including embroidery and chalk drawing and caring for her pets. She was an accomplished seamstress and could do anything she wanted to do.


In 2004, she moved to the Pioneer Apartments in Luck and continued to play the organ at the Pioneer Home for the “old people.” In September 2009, she moved to Comforts of Home Assisted Living in Frederic.


She is survived by her daughter, Mary Ellen and friend, Nellie King, of Mitchell, S.D.; two sons, Larry (Jackie) of Osceola and Gary (Dorothea) of Osceola; one step-granddaughter, Jennifer Rider of Osceola; four grandchildren, Annette, Holly, Richell and Thor; two step-great-granddaughters, Allison and MacKenzie Rider of Osceola; many great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and two special young friends, Roxanne and Amanda Drinkman.


She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Alvin in 1979; and her brothers, Henry (Barbara) and John (Lois).


And so ends a life of music.


Funeral services will be held at the West Denmark Lutheran Church in Luck, WI on Friday, March 16 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Linda Rozumalski officiating. Visitation will be held at the Rowe Funeral Home in Luck on Thursday, March 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial will take place at West Denmark Cemetery following the service.


Refer to the following website to leave online condolences or call Bruce Rowe at 715-472-2444 for additional information.


Rowe Funeral Home of Luck, www.rowefh.com, has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.

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