Marie Ellingson died at the age of 85 in St. Francis Hospital from cancer on August 16th.

Raised in South Dakota, she met Wayne Ellingson and they were married April 3, 1954. They had celebrated their 65th anniversary in April.

In June of 1955, daughter Cristy Lea was born in Mitchell, SD. They moved to Washington State later that year, for employment and marital bliss. They settled in Tacoma, then Brown’s Point, where they welcomed two other daughters, Donna Sue and Kay Linda. In 1963-64 they bought their Federal Way home which remains in the family 56 years later. It is also the home where she cared for her husband, who fights Alzheimer’s.

She worked in the Federal Way area in the bakery business, including as a Van de Kamp retail clerk and, with the Federal Way School District’s food services.

An avid gardener Marie found beauty in the outdoors. She painted as a hobby and children, grandchildren and great grandchildren helped with gardening and making fairy gardens. They enjoyed her help in puppet shows, Easter egg treasure hunts, tea parties and other crafts. Traveling was a lifelong adventure and she was able to take a boat trip down the Rhine River in Europe shortly before her death.

Her final week at St. Francis Hospital reinforced how admired and loved Marie was with relatives and friends visiting and sharing stories. For those of us left behind, we have a new angel in heaven.

Thank you to the medical staff, palliative care personnel and others who touched our lives. Her family very much appreciates all of you.

The family asks that donations in her honor be made to the St Francis Oncology fund, the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Society or any nonprofit of your choosing. Her own garden contains stones and plants dedicated to relatives that have passed. If you prefer, plant a plant in her honor or share one with us to remember her by.

She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Gertrude “Gertie” Kopke, brothers, Ray, Howard and Harold along with sisters, Gertrude “Jerry”, Violet and Alberta “Pat.” She is survived by sisters, Ruth, Loretta and Kathryn, her husband Wayne, daughters, Cristy “Cris” (Ellensburg), Donna (NE Tacoma) Ellingson-Olsen and her husband Eric and youngest daughter Kay (Federal Way.) Grandchildren include Nicole (Brian) Hopper in Kirkland with Trustin and Claira; Wayne (Erin) Shelton in Bonney Lake with Christian Wayne, Olivia Rae and Presley Marie; Graham (Samantha) Olsen of Auburn with Kylie Jean and Alexander Thor; Kris (Heather) of Vancouver, WA with Stella Ann and August Kristofer; granddaughter Megan (with spouse Julie Maddox in GA) and daughter Kay (Federal Way) with son Chase Freeze.

Services were held Thursday at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent.

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