In loving memory of Doril Ellertson: 1929-2021


Surrounded by her family, Doril Ellertson passed away on Oct. 13, 2021 at the age of 92. Doril was the beloved wife of 67 years to Don Ellertson; the mother of three children, Jeff Ellertson (Lori), Jennifer Kraemer (Pat), and Nancy Aarsvold (Stephanie); the grandmother of seven; and the great-grandmother of four. She was also a beloved sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend to many.

The seventh of 11 children, Doril was born in Rosholt, South Dakota on Jan. 25, 1929 to Emma and Albin Lance. In the early 1930s, the family moved to Ellensburg, Washington, where Doril grew up and attended school. After graduation, she worked as a secretary for the City of Ellensburg for five years, before continuing her education at Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle. Then, she moved to Vancouver, Washington, taking a position as a parish worker at St. Paul Lutheran where she met her future husband Don, with a little help from Don's Aunt Inez. They married in 1954 and raised three children in Battle Ground, Washington. Doril was a stay-at-home mom for several years, but later worked as a playground monitor at Lewisville School and a secretary at Battle Ground High School.

Doril's faith played a central role in her life. A member of Bethel Lutheran Church for 60 years, Doril volunteered with good cheer and great energy in many different roles. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, led the opening for the children, and served as the Sunday school coordinator. She was also active in the small group ministry, women's circles and the church choir.

Doril was a very active person with many interests. Her greatest love was music, and she enjoyed singing in the "Touch of Class" community choir, yodeling with her brother and attending concerts of all sorts. Even at the end of her life, she still sang folk songs and hymns with gusto, remembering the words to all the stanzas even when others could not. Music also inspired her enthusiasm for dancing. She took tap dancing lessons as a 60-year-old, volunteered to be the audience hula dancing participant in Hawaii, and danced with her walker at the Glenwood Place music evenings. When spending time with family, Doril enjoyed playing card games of all kinds and loved to kid everyone. Even just a few months ago, she was playing cards with the family and telling Don that he had better play a little faster. In the kitchen, Doril had some specialties that her kids and grandkids loved, such as canned peaches, apple crisp, angel food cake and strawberry jam. On April Fools' Day, she liked to surprise her family by putting cardboard in the pancakes or gluing the silverware to the table. Outdoors, Doril was fearless when riding bikes, rollerblading and skiing. In the pool, Doril was in a class of her own, whether doing beautiful swan dives or giant cannon balls. She also liked to demonstrate her graceful swimming strokes as well as the moves she learned in synchronized swimming. Last but not least, Doril enjoyed traveling the world with Don, especially visiting relatives in Sweden and Norway. Doril brought home both fond memories and new friends from her many trips abroad.

Family was the most important part of Doril's life. She enjoyed spending time with her Lance relatives in Seattle, her family in Sweden and the Ellertson relatives in Vancouver. She was a loving and involved mother for her three children, as well as an active and fun grandparent for her grandkids and great-grandkids. Don was the love of her life, and their bond was evident to everyone who met them. The highlight of each year was the annual family trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon, where the extended family had time to walk on the beach, play in the sand and just be together. During the last years of her life, the caregivers at Home Instead and Glenwood place became like family for Doril, Don and their children. The family is grateful to them for the wonderful care they provided for Doril.

Because of the pandemic, there was a private burial service at Bethel Lutheran Church in Brush Prairie on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 and there will be a memorial service for family and friends next summer.