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Founders of Whispering Oak honored



There’s a mutual admiration society in Ellendale that exists between the town and the founders of Whispering Oak.

It goes back a long way.

Jim and Margaret Deml, Russ and Cynthia Nelson, and Brian and Jodi Wayne — most of whom grew up in the area — were honored Saturday as grand marshals of the 2016 Ellendale Days Parade.

Scott Groth, city councilman and a member of the parade committee, said the six are well deserving of the honor for having the foresight to build the assisted living facility Whispering Oak 12 years ago on the west side of town.

“To have the vision to make something like that happen, to see it through, that’s why we wanted to honor them,” said Groth. “It was duly deserved that they were chosen.”

All have been active in the community and their respective churches in addition to being Whispering Oak’s primary investors 12 years ago.

Nelson, who operates an electric business, is originally from St. James but married a local girl, Cynthia Holmes, whom he met in college at Mankato. They’ve been active in various community activities.

“Ellendale’s a good town to live in,” said Russ. “It’s a small town, but everyone’s very close.”

Brian Wayne, a farmer, grew up in Ellendale and married a Hartland girl, Jodi Christensen. They too have been active with school board, church and community events.

“I’ve been proud to live here for 40 years,” said Jodi. “Ellendale is a fantastic community. Whenever anyone needs help, people are right there to help you. It’s a great place to live and bring up your kids.”

Jim Deml, a retired dairy farmer, and his wife Margaret could not be reached for comment.

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