In loving memory of Donald Homer Ellertson June 29, 1928 - March 18, 2024


Donald Homer Ellertson passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, March 18, 2024. Don was born to Homer and Marie (Mattox) Ellertson, joining big brother, Ken, on June 19, 1928, in Hockinson, Washington. The arrival of younger brother, Rodney, and baby sister, Kathleen, made the family complete. Don and his siblings were well loved and lived in Clark County most of their lives.

Don graduated from Vancouver High School and joined the United States Army a few months later. He was barely 18 and was primarily stationed in Korea. After completing his time in the service, Don attended Pacific Lutheran University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. A few years later, he completed his master’s degree in education at Central Washington State University. Don began his teaching career at Amboy Elementary School and later taught for many years at Central Elementary, Lewisville Middle School and Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground, Washington.

Don married the love of his life, Doril Lance, in 1954, and they settled in Battle Ground, where they lived for the next 62 years. Don, Doril and their three children, Jeff, Jennifer and Nancy, enjoyed their cozy small-town life. They lived in an area near the schools often referred to as Teacherville! Teachers and children often walked to the schools in the morning, just around the corner! Once the children were launched, Doril also worked for Battle Ground School District.

Bethel Lutheran Church was a second home to the Don Ellertson family, and they spent many happy years as active members of the church. Even during the pandemic, Don loved to watch the Bethel Lutheran Church services from his iPad.

Don had many interests. He enjoyed working on his 15-acre woods right outside of town and would put on a cap, take some or all of the kids and go work on the land, plus ride Tote Goats and Honda 90s! Don later taught himself how to develop land, and the woods became a development of houses as the city began to grow.

When he turned 40, Don bought his first new car, a green Ford van, and outfitted it by hand, so the family would travel across the country to watch the Apollo 11 liftoff in Florida. They say if you want to bond with your family, go camping, and that’s just what happened! Oh, the memories from that trip! Thanks, Dad!

Don and Doril learned that they loved to travel and took many other trips during their lives together with friends and family. It would be accurate to say that they enjoyed the freedom their empty nest granted them and appreciated visiting and learning about new places like Vietnam, the Philippines, Antarctica and the homes of their ancestors in Norway and Sweden. They bought a little motorhome early on in retirement, and this enabled them to indulge their love of tennis and drive to New York to watch Chrissy Evert play her last match at the U.S. Open. The highlight of each year was the annual trip to Cannon Beach, where the extended family gathered to build ridiculously large sandcastles, search for puffins at Haystack Rock, play games around the bonfire and just be together.

Don engaged his friends and family with his witty sense of humor and love for language. When fun and snappy comebacks happen, we like to proudly credit “Papa Don,” often inquiring, “Have you been talking to Papa Don lately?” He had the sweetest ability to spread cheer and goodwill. His beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he loved dearly, carry on his legacy of good heartedness.

In 2016, Don and Doril moved to Glenwood Place, a senior living community in Vancouver. It was their home, and they forged friendships with the staff and caregivers who became like family over the years. The family of Don and Doril would like to thank them for their truly tender and loving care.

Don Ellertson is survived by his loving family, Jeff (Lori), Jennifer (Patrick), and Nancy (Stephanie); five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.

There was visitation at Northwood Park Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, and Don’s funeral service and burial were held at Bethel Lutheran Church on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Memorials may be made to Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie and to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.