Elsie “Ellie” Caroline Becker was born on February 7, 1933, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Carl and Clara (Thofson) Knudson. Ellie grew up on their family farm in rural Hartland, Minnesota. At age 7 her father passed away suddenly and her mother became ill, unable to care for the family. Ellie and some of her siblings spent that first summer living with aunts and uncles while her three eldest brothers maintained the farm. In the fall they all returned home. Her large extended family wrapped their arms around her and her siblings to provide the support, love and guidance during those years, so they could stay together as a family. Ellie was baptized as an infant in 1933 and was later confirmed in her faith as a youth in 1941 at Hartland Lutheran Church in Hartland, Minnesota. She was a graduate of the New Richland High School Class of 1951. Ellie furthered her education at the University of Minnesota after receiving a scholarship to study nursing. She graduated with an LPN degree in nursing. Ellie had always dreamed of being a flight attendant, but needed to wait until she was a year older. However, her first nursing assignment would introduce her to Charles Becker while his mother was recovering from surgery at the Hutchinson Community Hospital.
On September 15, 1956, Ellie and Chuck were married in Hartland, Minnesota. They resided in Hutchinson and shared almost 50 years of marriage together until Chuck passed away in 2005.
Ellie was employed at the Hutchinson Community Hospital. After retirement, Ellie became a watercolor artist and was an active member of the Edina Art Center. Ellie was always interested in perfecting her craft so she frequently attended workshops conducted by nationally known artists as well as local instructors. As an artist she always tried to capture light, experimenting with different paper to create the “soft” style for which she became known. Ellie was commissioned to do a painting for a nursing home, won awards and sold several paintings over the years. She was a member and officer of the Miriam Chapter of the Eastern Star. Ellie and Chuck volunteered for the Hutchinson Area Health Care Hospice for 10 years, and they were active members of the Vineyard United Methodist Church.
Ellie loved to cross country ski, take cooking classes with Chuck, and travel, especially to Florida and up north to Cross Lake. She was an active bridge player and reader. She will forever be remembered for her continuous love and support to extended family members in their times of need. Her kindness, ready smile, positive outlook and loving hugs provided a rich life, together with her “Ellieisms” like “Oh my land”, “Oh sugar” and “Uff-da”.
Ellie passed away on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at her home, at the age of 83 years.
Love of family was always Ellie’s center; her family was truly blessed by her spirit and she will be dearly missed. Blessed be her memory.
Ellie is preceded in death by her parents Carl and Clara (Thofson) Knudson; husband Charles (Chuck) Becker; brothers Kernel Knudson and Alert Knudson; sisters-in-law Betty Knudson, Lillian Knudson, Arlene Knudson, and Jean Becker; brothers-in-law Carl Patschke and Corry McDermott.