After a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Ellen Esther Bratberg passed away Friday, November 3, 2023, at Edenbrook care facility in Rochester, Minn.
Born October 16, 1944, to Marvin and Olivia Skibbe in the Elkader, Iowa, area, Ellen and her family moved to Minnesota and eventually settled in the Stewartville, Minn., area. She graduated from Stewartville High School in 1962. She then attended Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing and became a registered nurse (RN) in 1965. On July 2, 1966, Ellen married Merlin Bratberg at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stewartville, and they were blessed with three sons: Steven, Scott, and Jeffrey.
She worked at Methodist Hospital in various departments, but she spent most of her career as a pediatrics nurse; she continued as a pediatrics nurse at St. Marys Hospital when that department moved from Methodist Hospital; she loved the children who needed care. Ellen retired in 2001 after more than 30 years of service. Later, she worked supplemental at Children’s R&R, where Mayo Clinic employees bring their sick children. She also volunteered at Social Services to help people with low incomes find housing. Ellen also volunteered at the library of the Adult Detention Center in Rochester.
She loved to cook and bake and try new recipes; she acquired a huge collection of cookbooks.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, her mother- and father-in-law, her sister Ruth, her sister- and brother-in-law Betty and Arland Olness, as well as brother-in-law Gerald Warnken.
She is survived by her loving husband Merlin, sisters Dorothy Warnken and Martha (Don) Pogalz, sons Steven (Trisha Ferguson) of Royal Oak, Mich.; Scott (Sarah Hanley) of Maple Grove, Minn.; and Jeffrey (Patty Bratberg) of Attleboro, Mass., as well as five grandchildren: William “Gabriel” Bratberg, Kathryn Bratberg, Nicholas Bratberg, Luke Hanley-Bratberg, and Eve Hanley-Bratberg.
The funeral service will be Thursday, November 9, 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Plainview, with Pastor Phil Augustine officiating. Visitation is Thursday, one hour prior to the service at the church. A private interment will be on Friday at Highland Prairie Cemetery in rural Rushford, Minn.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview are assisting with the arrangements.