Ellen A. Dawley

Thursday, September 17, 2015 1:29 pm

Ellen A. Dawley, 92, of Bluffton, died Tuesday evening, Sept. 15, 2015, at Grandview Healthcare Center in Oelwein. Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, with Rev. Chad Huebner and Rev. Doug Bryce officiating. Burial was in Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak.      Visitation was 4-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah, and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., one hour before the service, at First Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist was Marcia Engebretson. Casket bearers were Kyle Dawley, Joey Dawley, Shawn Dawley, Randy Dawley, Adam Dawley, J.R. Lehman, Kevin Hanson, Jason Dawley, Mike Newman, Bobby Dawley and Billy Schwaumann. Honorary bearers were the rest of the grandchildren, and all of her great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Congregational hymns were “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Amazing Grace” and “May the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Ellen Amanda Gabrielson was born Nov. 18, 1922, to Gilbert and Louise (Blegen) Gabrielson in Decorah. She attended rural schools in Winneshiek County. She was united in marriage to Roscoe H. Dawley Dec. 2, 1941, in Spring Valley, Minn. To this union 13 children were born. After Roscoe and Ellen were married they farmed near Bluffton on his and his brother Tom’s farm. There a son, Lester, was born and died in infancy. From there they moved across the river to the Halse farm. Ruth, Martha, and Jim were born there. Then they moved up north of Mabel and farmed for a few years, where Mary was born. Next they bought a farm in the Canoe Township area where they lived for a few years. Ron, Becky and Mark were born there. Ellen contracted Polio in 1950. From there they moved to Bluffton bought five acres and were blessed with five more sons: Steve, Dan, Mike, Jeff and John. Ellen lived a full and happy life in Bluffton for 63 years. A year ago Mike and Ellen moved to Grandview Healthcare Center in Oelwein.  Ellen belonged to the Assembly of God Church, where she enjoyed being a Sunday school teacher. Besides raising a family, she and Roscoe ran a restaurant in Cresco for two years. She went to NICC in Calmar and received her GED in 1979 and went on to receive her CNA, Med-aid, and LPN degree. She was a nurse at Barthel Order of Eastern Star Home for 7 1/2 years, was a Cub Scout leader at North Winn, sold Stanley Products and she took care of her son Mike for 40 years after his injury. She was a Gold Star Mother at the VFW. Ellen loved cooking, baking, canning, gardening, sewing and mending. She loved her farm life raising chickens and other livestock. She always had acres of gardens each year to feed all of her family. She loved company, as everyone was always welcome. No one ever left there hungry. She especially loved visits from her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. During family visits and holidays, homemade ice cream was a tradition and a family favorite. She loved music and dancing, and loved to dance at her grandchildren’s weddings. She really enjoyed the music when they played it at Grandview Center; she would dance and sing with them.

Ellen is survived by 11 children: Ruth Brownfield of Colorado Springs, Colo., Martha Dawley of Cresco, Mary Dawley of Rockford, Ill., Ron (Bev) Dawley of Belvidere, Ill., Becky (Steve) Newman of Evansdale, Mark (Edith) Dawley of Bluffton, Steve (Julie) Dawley of Ridgeway, Dan (Jill) Dawley of Burr Oak, Mike Dawley of Bluffton, Jeff (Gwen) Dawley of Bluffton and John (Arla) Dawley of Ridgeway; 36 grandchildren, 62 great-grandchildren, and 17 great-great-grandchildren; and two sisters-in-law, Betty Dawley of Harmony, Minn. and Jackie Gabrielson of S.D. Memorials may be given to the family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Gilbert and Louise; her husband, Roscoe in 2003; her brothers, James and Robert; one sister, Marlys Zweibohmer; two sons, Lester in infancy and James in 2013; one grandson, Dean Dawley in infancy and two great-grandchildren in infancy.

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