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Martha Nelson Ellingwood

Martha Nelson Ellingwood

STERLING – Martha Nelson Ellingwood, 94, formerly of Mountain Home, Ark., passed away Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Roy Dern. 

Martha was born in Westby, Mont., on Jan. 31, 1918, to John and Goldie Nelson. Martha was the oldest of eight children. She attended a one-room schoolhouse until leaving for nurses training in Ellensberg, Wash. She married Richard Lee Ellingwood in April 1943. Martha worked as an RN for an eye, ear, nose, and throat doctor in Phoenix, and as the head nurse in a T.B. ward in Las Vegas. She also was a clinic director for Planned Parenthood in Las Vegas and in Odessa, Texas. In 1974, she became a nurse practitioner in family planning. During the time they lived in Odessa, Dick and Martha enjoyed their cabin in Cloudcroft, N.M. They retired to Mountain Home, in 1969, where they continued to garden and play bridge. Martha also loved to quilt and tole paint. Dick passed away in 1994. Martha continued to live on her own until she was 90 and macular degeneration made it hard for her to see.

Survivors include her daughter, Bonnie (Roy) Dern, of Sterling; three grandchildren, Rich, Chris, and Jenny Dern; two great-grandchildren, Sophie and Jake Dern; two sisters; and one brother.

Services will be later this year in Mountain Home. Cremation rites have been accorded.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Rock River Valley, 264 IL Route 2, Dixon, IL 61021.

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