Cover photo for Mervin Ellwood's Obituary
1928 Mervin 2019

Mervin Ellwood

October 16, 1928 — November 13, 2019

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.

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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