Ellendale Bartz, age 88, of Glenwood, died Thursday, January 9, 2020, at Glenwood Retirement Village. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 13th, at East Zion Lutheran Church, rural Starbuck, with Pastor Steve Carmany officiating. Visitation at Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood will be Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will resume on Monday, at the church, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Gordon Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Ellendale Clay entered this world on April 26, 1931, at her parents’ home in rural Long Prairie, MN. She was the sixth of seven children born to Eleazor and Bessie (Olver) Clay. Ellendale grew up in Osakis and graduated from high school there in 1949.
On March 28, 1949, she married Wilbert E. Bartz and instantly became a mother to his daughter, Loretta Jane. They farmed on Wilbert’s family farm near Osakis until March of 1954, when they moved ten miles south of Starbuck, along State Hwy 28. There, Wilbert, a mechanic, opened a repair shop. With the help of Ellendale’s father, Eleazor, Wilbert added a home on to the existing shop and then eventually, added on a grocery store and a Phillip’s 66 gas station, all of which they operated under the business name ”Midway Service”. All seven of their children were raised there, with Ellendale operating the grocery store and gas station. From time to time she could even be found helping Wilbert take apart a tractor in his shop.
In April of 1955, Ellendale and her family joined East Zion Lutheran Church in rural Starbuck, where she became active in the ladies aid. She also worked for a year at the bakery in Benson before taking a position as a nursing assistant at Meadow Lane Nursing Home in Benson. She enjoyed her work there so much that she decided to pursue an LPN degree at Willmar Tech. After graduating from the program in August of 1970, she returned to Meadow Lane where she worked as an LPN for the next 14 years.
Ellendale and Wilbert closed Midway Service in 1969, but continued to reside at the location until 1984, when, with assistance from family, they built a new home in Glenwood. Ellendale started working as an LPN at Glenwood Retirement Home in April of 1985 and continued there for the next 18 years until her retirement in 2003, at the age of 72.
Ellendale and Wilbert loved to travel and enjoyed many years camping with their children and then eventually, their grandchildren. It was their tradition to take one week at the end of July to pack up as many family members as possible and spend the week together at Lake Winnie. The two also traveled several times to Wyoming, Arizona, and many other states.
Ellendale enjoyed sewing and made clothing for her children and grandchildren while they were growing up. She also made quilts and embroidered. She was a MN Twins fan and faithfully tuned in to their games. Above all else, Ellendale enjoyed time spent visiting with her children, grandchildren and other relatives.
Wilbert passed away on October 26, 1994. Ellendale continued to live at home until September of 2014, when she moved to Glenwood Retirement Village due to declining health. She died there on Thursday, January 9, 2020, having lived to the age of 88 years.
Ellendale is survived by her six children, Kathleen (Allan) Kuseske of Villard, John (Patty) Bartz of Glenwood, James Bartz of Benson, Peter (Kim) Bartz of Casper, WY, Philip (Yvonne) of Minto, ND, and Karen Johnson of Janesville, MN; 24 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Eleazor and Bessie; her husband, Wilbert in 1994; two brothers, Zerl (and Velma) Clay and Forrest (and Inez) Clay; four sisters, Eleanor (and Marvin) Schmidt, Virginia Caimigilo, Marjorie (and Dwight) Trummer, and Neatta (and Bob) Ritchie; her step-daughter, Loretta Jane Chandler; a grandson, Eric Bartz, and great-grandson, Anthony Kuznia.
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