Ellen Newton

                    August 10, 1915  -  August 24, 2011

Life Legacy

Ellen Newton, 96, died on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at the Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls, MN.

Funeral service will be at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at Bethany Lutheran Church, rural Thief River Falls, MN with Reverend Robert Dahlen officiating.  Interment will follow at Emmanuel Cemetery in rural Thief River Falls.


Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on Friday, August 26, 2011 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with a Prayer Service at 7:00 P.M. on Friday evening and also at the church one hour prior to the service on Saturday.


Ellen Violet Berggren was born August 10, 1915 on the family farm in Silverton Township, Pennington County, Minnesota, the daughter of Erik August and Helene (Johnson) Berggren. She was baptized and confirmed at Augustana Lutheran Church. She attended Elwell Rural School District 28, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1933. 

Ellen was united in marriage to Maurice Newton on July 15, 1944 in Seattle, Washington. She worked at Boeing Aircraft as a bench mechanic and machinist in Seattle during the war while Maurice was in the Navy. In September of 1945, Ellen and Maurice moved back to the family farm in Smiley Township where they farmed and raised a family. She worked at JC Penney for several years before retiring. Ellen and Maurice enjoyed 53 years of marriage before Maurice passed away in 1997.

Ellen was a caring and loving mother who supported her five children throughout their various activities in church, 4-H, and school. She spent several years teaching Sunday School, served as Sunday School superintendent and also as a Smiley 4-H Club leader. The Newton farm kitchen was always filled with the aroma of freshly baked goods especially to use up the cracked eggs from the chickens they raised. Through the years the tradition of making lefse was passed onto all of her children and spouses as well as members of the Bethany Lutheran congregation for the annual lutefisk supper. All of her children benefitted from her sewing skills as she created many special outfits for various holidays. In her later years, she especially enjoyed visits from her grandchildren and great- grandchildren and also looked forward to attending their activities.

She is survived by five children: Nancy (Rick) McGraw of Hutchinson, Alan (Dianna) Newton of Thief River Falls, Peggy Newton of Montrose, Marcia (Kip) Wold of Buffalo, and Barry (Paula) Newton of Thief River Falls; thirteen grandchildren: Ron (Michelle) McGraw, Mark (Krista) McGraw, Leah (Mark) Starke; Bret (Jessica) Newton, Kyle Newton, Matthew Nordmeier, Aaron (Virginia) Wold, Erika (Gabe) Borscheid, Adam Wold, Kelly (Jamie) Carriere, Ann (Jeff) Rislov, Brian Newton and Laura Newton; thirteen great grandchildren: Reid and Michael McGraw, Nicole (Tim) Garner, Megan, Madison and Kady McGraw, Isaac and Jacob Starke, Caidence and Bailey Newton, Mia and Callen Carriere, and Addy Rislov. She is also survived by her brother, Edwin Berggren; sisters-in-law, June Berggren, and Edith Berggren Dahl; and special niece, Jenny Olson as well as many other nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Maurice; three brothers Theodore, Alphen, and Carl Berggren; and three sisters Julia Berggren, Helga Kaushagen, and Gladys Sundt.


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Born: August 10, 1915

Death: August 24, 2011

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