Gertrude (Trudy) Elizabeth Ellestad, 97, entered new life May 13, 2017. She was born in Winneshiek County, Iowa, June 12, 1919, to William Walter and Rose Emy (Gresbrink) Gossman. Following graduation from Canton High School in 1936, she attended Normal Teachers Training and taught in the Amherst and Scheie country schools.
On September 30, 1939, she and Sanford G. Ellestad were married and moved to the homestead farm north of Mabel, where they raised their family. Trudy is survived by her children Judy (Hamdy) Sayed, Charlottesville, Va., Janice (Paul) Spande, Mabel, Minn.; Richard (Kathleen), Summerfield, Fla.; daughter-in-law Rebecca Ellestad, Annandale, Minn.; 13 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews. Her husband, son Anthony, her parents and four siblings predeceased her.
Trudy was a founding member of St. Olaf Parish in Mabel, a 4-H leader, a member of church auxiliaries, and an organizer of several bridge clubs. Her beautiful gardens, hand-knit masterpieces, colorful quilts, innovative cuisine and wines, and bread baking brought her much joy and praise. However, it was a good (winning) game of bridge that brought her most satisfaction.
Having a sense of adventure, Trudy took the opportunity to crawl through the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, to kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland, to sail the fjords of Norway, to go to Medjugorje on pilgrimage, to test the health-care resorts of Mexico and Jamaica, to try her luck with baited fishhooks on many a family fishing trip, and to explore various parts of the U.S. and Canada.
Her quick wit, her keen mind, her sense of humor — her presence— will be missed by her family and many friends.
The Mass of Christian Burial is Thursday, May 18, 11 a.m., Church of the Nativity, Harmony, Minn.
In lieu of flowers, the following organizations are suggested for donations: Harmony Volunteer Ambulance Service, American Macular Degeneration Foundation, www.macular.org, or Heartland Hospice. The Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel is assisting with arrangements.