Ellendale Bartz, 88, of Glenwood, died on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at Glenwood Retirement Village.
Funeral services were held on Monday, Jan. 13, at East Zion Lutheran Church, rural Starbuck. Pastor Steve Carmany officiated and the organist was Karen Mitteness. Interment was in Gordon Pleasant Hill Cemetery, near Osakis. Arrangements were with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Ellendale Clay entered this world on April 26, 1931, at her parents’ home in rural Long Prairie. She was the sixth of seven children born to Eleazor and Bessie (Olver) Clay. Ellendale grew up in Osakis and graduated from high school there in 1949.
On March 28, 1949, she married Wilbert E. Bartz and instantly became a mother to his daughter, Loretta Jane. They farmed on Wilbert’s family farm near Osakis until March of 1954, when they moved 10 miles south of Starbuck, along State Hwy 28. There, Wilbert, a mechanic, opened a repair shop. With the help of Ellendale’s father, Eleazor, Wilbert added a home on to the existing shop and then eventually added on a grocery store and a Phillip’s 66 gas station, all of which they operated under the business name ”Midway Service.” All seven of their children were raised there, with Ellendale operating the grocery store and gas station. From time to time she could even be found helping Wilbert take apart a tractor in his shop.
In April of 1955, Ellendale and her family joined East Zion Lutheran Church in rural Starbuck, where she became active in the ladies aid. She also worked for a year at the bakery in Benson before taking a position as a nursing assistant at Meadow Lane Nursing Home in Benson. She enjoyed her work there so much that she decided to pursue an LPN degree at Willmar Tech. After graduating from the program in August 1970, she returned to Meadow Lane where she worked as an LPN for the next 14 years.
Ellendale and Wilbert closed Midway Service in 1969, but continued to reside at the location until 1984, when, with assistance from family, they built a new home in Glenwood. Ellendale started working as an LPN at Glenwood Retirement Home in April of 1985 and continued there for the next 18 years until her retirement in 2003, at the age of 72.
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