Ellsworth E. James

January 23, 2019

JOHNSON CREEK -- Ellsworth E. James, 94, of Johnson Creek, passed away peacefully at Sunset Ridge on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

Ellsworth was born on June 13, 1924, in Big Rock, Illinois, the son of Evan and Nellie (Gustafson) James. Ellsworth was a member of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Johnson Creek. He joined the Marines and proudly served our country in Okinawa and later in China during World War II. After returning home from the war Ellsworth attended the University of Illinois, graduating with his master’s in agricultural economics.

He married the love of his life Ethel Schilling on Aug. 29, 1946, in Newark, Ohio, and the couple enjoyed 67 years of marriage. The couple moved to Wisconsin where Ellsworth held several jobs, the most notable being Mendota State Hospital as a groundskeeper and Jefferson County Fair Park until his retirement. In 1961 Ellsworth bought a beautiful farm and raised his wonderful Guernsey cattle. He was involved as a 4-H leader with Grellton Go-Getters for many years; he instilled the love of 4-H in his children and grandchildren. Ellsworth was also very involved in the Whitewater Tri-County Marine Corps League, and especially loved helping with Toys for Tots. In 2010 Ellsworth and Grace had the privilege of going on the Badger Honor Flights; this trip was one of the highlights of his life. Ellsworth will be greatly missed by those who were fortunate to have known him.

Survivors include daughter Grace (Russell) Feith of Jefferson; grandchildren Chris (Sara) Matz, Adam (Becca) Feith, Ashton (Mark) Liedel and Cassie (Corey) Falzone; sons-in-law Doug Matz and Kevin Kelly; great-grandchildren Anna, John, Mia Feith, Mark, Cora Liedel and Avery Peters. He will also be missed by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Ellsworth was preceded in death by his wife, parents, daughters Ethel Ann Matz and Cyndi Kelly, son Charles, granddaughter Lynn Matz and brothers Vincent, Bruce and Tom James.

Memorials to Badger Honor Flight or the Jefferson County 4-H program would be appreciated.

A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m. on Friday at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church with Father David Wanish presiding. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will be in the parish cemetery.

Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Homes in Watertown is caring for the family. To make an online condolence, please visit www.pn-fh.com.

Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home

213 S. Fifth St. Watertown

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