Raymond Keith Ellingston, 87, Belmond, died March 26, 2020 at Iowa Specialty Hospital - Belmond. Due to restrictions of the Covid-19 virus, a celebration of life will be held later.
Ray was born Jan. 26, 1933 on the family farm west of Belmond, the son of Elling and Nettie Osada (Ulstad) Ellingston. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in rural Belmond. He attended Country School #4 and Belmond High School, graduating in 1951. After high school, Ray farmed with his father and brother Leo. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served from 1953 until 1955. He returned to Belmond to continue farming.
Ray married Rebecca Charlotta Janssen on Sept. 23, 1956 at St. Olaf Lutheran. They were blessed with children Charlotta, Debra and Lynn. They farmed together west of Belmond until retirement in 2000.
Ray was a gifted musician who didn’t read music but played the piano, organ, accordion and guitar by ear. He was a gifted singer and sang in the church choir and with the Men's Chorus. He loved animals and raised cattle and hogs. He often brought a puppy home from the sale barn that he fell in love with. Ray had many hobbies and collected various things. In retirement, Ray and Becky made rugs on their looms. They attended fairs and festivals where they would sell their rugs.
Ray was preceded in death by his daughter Deb Obrecht; great-granddaughter Jayden; and siblings Maxine (Elmer) Michelson, Virgil (Keith) Bailey, Eunice (Lloyd) Christenson, Bernice (Robert) Nelson, Avis (Marvin) Hopkey, and Leo Ellingston.
Ray is survived by his wife of 631⁄2 years, Rebecca; their children Char (Paul) Rokke and Lynn Ellingston, all of Belmond; grandchildren Gina (Steve) Prohaska, Jared (Amanda) Rokke, Jason (Caylee) Rokke, Jeff (Taylor Summers) Obrecht, David Obrecht, Katie (Dillan) VanZwol, Austin (Kailee Williams) Ellingston, and Brianna (Jeremy) Williams; nine great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law Opal Ellingston.
Memorial suggestions include the St. Olaf Cemetery Fund, Immanuel Reformed Memorial Fund, or Gateway Hospice.