Ellen Chapman passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at the Kenmare Community Hospital.
Ellen L. Chapman was born Nov. 5, 1923, in Vermillion, S.D., the eighth child of Charles F. Denison and Edna (Lowe) Denison. Her parents died at a young age and from the age of 5 she was raised by her eldest brother, Charles, and her mother’s sister, Alice Lowe. She was a graduate of University Model High School at Vermillion.
She married Warren Chapman on Sept. 21, 1941, in Vermillion. In the early 1950s they moved to the Kenmare area and she began her career as a bookkeeper, a profession she practiced for the next 50 years, working first at the Kenmare Laundry. When she and Warren moved to Fargo in 1967 she began working as office manager for LTP Enterprises until her retirement of 1990.
While living in Kenmare she was an active member of the VFW Auxiliary, the Royal Neighbors of America and the Rebecca Lodge. She was a member of the United Methodist Church and enjoyed singing in the choir. She also served as church treasurer for a number of years.
She was a huge fan of Elvis Presley-probably the only parent in Kenmare that was! Charolette remembers many hours spent by Ellen, Carol and Charolette cleaning house with Elvis singing “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock” or many of his other famous hits on the LP record player.
Ellen was an accomplished seamstress, sewing most of Carol and Charolette’s clothing until they were able to make their own. She sewed Charolette’s wedding dress, did intricate beadwoking, bowling and swimming. The family had a cabin at Mouse River Park and in her 30s Ellen took swimming lessons and became a certified lifeguard. Many hours in the summer Ken, Carol and Charolette spent swimming in the Mouse River while mother stood watch to keep us safe.
Ellen retired in 1990 and she and Warren enjoyed traveling, spending winters in Florida, touring the U.S., Canada and Alaska.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in her late 60s. This disease slowly diminished her fun loving personality eventually robbing her of the gift of speech.
She had been a resident of the Kenmare Community Hospital since August 2004. The nursing staff there provided exceptional care for her. Kenmare is fortunate to have a facility with such dedicated and caring staff to care for the elderly.
Ellen is survived by: her son, Ken (Diane) Chapman, of El Dorado, Kan.; daughter, Char (Art) Wanner, Dickinson; son-in-law Mike Brue, Alvarado, Minn.; seven granddaughters; 13 great-grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were: her husband, Warren; daughter, Carol Brue; son-in-law, Jim Hembree; five brothers; and three sisters.
Her funeral will be Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home in Kenmare.
Burial will take place in the spring at Lakeview Cemetery, Kenmare.
Visitation will be Wednesday, one hour prior to the service, at the funeral home.
Those wishing to sign the online guest register or share memories of Ellen may access the online obituaries at (www.thompsonlarson.com).