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Mervin Ellwood

Mervin O. Ellwood, age 91, of Willmar, died Wednesday morning, Nov. 13, at Carris Health Rice Therapy Suites in Willmar.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the First Presbyterian Church in Willmar. Interment will be at Cloverleaf Memorial Park Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the American Legion Post #167.  Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church.  Arrangements by Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. www.petersonbrothers.com

Mervin O. Ellwood was born on October 16, 1928, on the family farm near Ellsworth, Iowa, the son of Olaf and Malena (Hoversten) Ellwood.  He grew up in Radcliffe, Iowa and graduated from high school there in 1946.  He attended college at Waldorf Jr. College and Luther College.  In 1952, Mervin was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a Special Agent with Counter Intelligence Corps at Ladd AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Following his honorable discharge in 1953, he returned to Luther College and graduated with a BA degree in 1955.  Later that year, Mervin began teaching and coaching football, basketball, baseball and track in Stewart, Minnesota.  In 1956, Mervin was united in marriage to Fanchon Bleck and they made their home in Stewart.  In 1964, they moved to Willmar and Mervin began teaching 9th grade Social Studies and was the Golf coach for many years at the Willmar Senior High School and Junior High School.  In 1975, he started WE/CEP (Work Experience Career Exploration Program).  In 1991, Mervin retired from teaching in the Willmar Public School District.  Throughout his years, Mervin participated and coached football, basketball, baseball, golf, and fast and slow pitch softball.  He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing cards.   Mervin was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, American Legion Post #167, Sons of Norway, Retired Educators, MEA/MFT, Valley Golf Club, Optimists Club and several Sportsman's clubs.  Mervin will be best remembered for telling funny jokes, playing tricks and making people laugh.

He is survived by his loving wife, Fanchon of Willmar; three children, Dave Ellwood of Willmar, Don (and Ann) Ellwood of Victoria and Lynn (and Doug) Urban of New London; five granddaughters, Rachael (and Jamie) Dunsmore, Lauren Ellwood (and Joel Obermeyer), Emily Ellwood, Megan Urban and Nicole Urban (and Brett Petersen); and two great granddaughters, Alexia and Jolie Dunsmore.  Also surviving is one brother, Alvern (and Barbara) Ellwood of Radcliffe, IA., and a sister-in-law, Margaret Ellwood of Radcliffe, IA., besides other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, Carroll Ellwood.

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We both enjoyed Merv and Fancheon when they lived in Stewart. Fancheon was my Home Economics teacher, and we also had coffee together in later years when we had our children. Just received this notice , a bit late, but wanted to extend our deepest sympathies to the entire family. Prayers to all. Virginia & Jim Kirchoff

Virginia & jim kirchoff Jan 20 2020 12:00 AM

Mr. Ellwood was a teacher in Stewart when I was in the highschool. I had him for social studies and history. What I would like to share is that he was a boarder in my grandmother's house. In that way he was really special. I reconnected with him in recent years because I did some science talks in Willmar.

Allen Lipke Jan 18 2020 12:00 AM

I graduated in 1976 and not only did I have Mr. Elwood for a teacher but I ran cross country and practiced at the junior high where Mr.Elwood would be teaching golf but he always made sure of encouraging me too keep up the pace. I hung around don and Dave who also had the same respect as their father. He was a remarkable teacher coach and great man.

Ken gustafson Nov 19 2019 12:00 AM

My sympathy to Mervs family. Through his school, church, and community he blessed many lives encouraging young and older alike. Thanks Merv for making our lives richer. Jesus said, I am the Resurrection and the life. Mar

Mary Hovland Nov 16 2019 12:00 AM

My sympathy to Mervs family. He blessed the lives of so many people, always encouraging, always supporting youth, school, church, and community.

Mary Hovland Nov 16 2019 12:00 AM

Our sincere sympathy to Fanchon and children of Merv. Merv was a special person who enjoyed life to the fullest. As a professional, he was a caring and helpful teacher. He will always be remembered as a great friend and colleague. I was fortunate to have known Merv. He always had a good joke to share and a smile on his face. Peace, Merv.

Loren and Nancy Elinger Nov 14 2019 12:00 AM

No matter where you saw Mr. Elwood, never Mervin, he greeted you and knew your name. He was a strong focal point in the Willmar School and a very nice man. Willmar was lucky to have had him in their system..........m

Martin Holmquist Nov 14 2019 12:00 AM

Mr. Ellwood always recognized me and affirmed me! It meant so much to me in the time of my struggle with self-esteem!Thank you!

Mark Bengtson Nov 14 2019 12:00 AM

Mr Ellwood was my 9th grade social studies teacher in1969-70. He was one of my favorite teachers in Wilimar Public Schools. He was so easy to learn from and made class content interesting. Above all he was kind and respectful to everyone. My sympathy to your family.

Sharon (Watkins) Miller Nov 13 2019 12:00 AM