Cleone Rose Ellingson “Tootie” was born September 9, 1934, in May City, Iowa, the daughter of Clarence and Rose (Bock) Newkirk. She grew up in May City with three siblings and attended country school through the eighth grade. After completing school, she worked at the Café in Hartley where she met her sweetheart, Raymond.
On September 5, 1953, Cleone was united in marriage to Ray Ellingson in Sioux City, Nebraska. To this union two children were born, Connie and Rodney. The family moved around following Ray’s work until moving to May City in 1960. Cleone worked at Berkely in Spirit Lake for over 25 years. She was known for wearing a different pair of earrings each day. She truly enjoyed her coworkers who became friends, and always looked forward to the yearly picnic, even after retirement. She retired in 1995.
Cleone was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church where she enjoyed attending ladies aid for many years.
Cleone and Ray were typically found together camping, fishing, going to parades, and playing cards with friends. They enjoyed their time spent together at their cabin in Round Lake and trips to Canada to visit family. Ray passed away in 2011.
Cleone enjoyed sewing, watching Western shows, and playing BINGO and solitaire. Her biggest joy in life was being a grandmother. Her grandkids spent many days, overnights and camping trips with her and Ray. She would light up every time her great grandkids would visit.
Cleone moved to Community Memorial Health Center in Hartley, Iowa in 2018 and passed away there on Friday, May 5, 2023. She will be greatly missed.
Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Connie (Mike) Van Engen of Melvin, IA; daughter-in-law, Terri Geurtz of Sioux Falls, SD; grandchildren, Jared (Sheila) Van Engen of Little Rock, IA, Angela (Brandon) Selzer of Melvin, IA, Tyler Ellingson of Reno, NV, Amy (Shawnden Crawford) Van Engen of Cedar Rapids, IA and Chantelle (Michael) Martin of Harrisburg, SD; 9 great grandchildren, Bryce, Kaisha, Ethan, Harper, Ava, Quincy, Carson, Kinsley, and Jayda; sister-in-law, Ruth Newkirk; along with extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Rose, stepmother, Dorothy Newkirk; husband of 58 years, Ray; son, Rodney Ellingson; brothers, Dean (Leona) and Lloyd Newkirk; sister, Joyce (Duane) Lyman.