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In Memoriam ~ Ellen Rosemarie Wethington

Ellen Rosemarie Wethington

Mother of Margaret Arnold, Regent

Grandmother of Claire Arnold ’12, Patrick Arnold ’13, Ellen Arnold ’15, and Matthew Arnold ’17

Ellen Rosemarie Schaub Wethington, 92, passed away gracefully and peacefully on October 3, 2021, alongside a loving family who cared for and loved her very much.

She was preceded in death by her husband Joseph Francis Wethington, Ph.D., MD, an infant daughter, Anna Marie, her parents, Frank B. and Anna E. (Polt) Schaub, four sisters and four brothers.

Survived by six children and their spouses: Michael (Wendy) Wethington, Anne Wethington, Margaret (John) Arnold, Joseph (Susan) Wethington, Elizabeth (Gary) Vaughan, Patrick (Kerry) Wethington, and grandchildren: Michael Joseph Jr. and Anna Marie Wethington (Thomas Myers); Claire, Patrick, Ellen and Matthew Arnold; Glenna and Grace Wethington; Michael Francis and Hannah Vaughan; and Madeline, Audrey, Jacqueline and Adeline Wethington. Also survived by sisters-in-law, Helen Schaub and Charlotte Schaub, and many loving nieces and nephews from across the country.

Ellen Rosemarie Schaub was born May 2, 1929, in Ipswich, South Dakota. She attended Holy Cross Grade School and Ipswich High School. She enrolled for one year at nearby Northern State Teachers College, Aberdeen, and returned near the family farm to teach in a one-room country school. She continued her education and received her Bachelor of Science degree in home economics education and food nutrition from South Dakota State University, Brookings, followed by post-graduate work towards a master’s degree and a dietetic internship at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. Ellen’s early dietetic career included a position in the dietary department at St. Luke’s Hospital, Aberdeen, as well as a therapeutic and administrative dietitian at Sister Kenny Institute and Prudential Life Insurance’s commissary department in Minneapolis. Her years in Minneapolis centered around her work and also her Catholic faith by walking to daily Mass at a nearby parish before her workday. This is where she eventually met her future husband at a parish event for which they were both volunteering.

On May 28, 1955, she was joined in marriage to Joseph F. Wethington, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis. They resided in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, while her husband completed his doctorate and medical degrees. During that time, Ellen was employed in the dietary department at the French-speaking Ottawa General Hospital, and later employed in food research for the Canadian Department of Agriculture conducting and publishing several research studies.

Upon their return to Minnesota with their eldest child, Michael, she lovingly put family ahead of career and raised her six children while her husband embarked on his medical career. Always a devout teacher and caregiver, Ellen modeled an idyllic example of home life to family through her faith – practiced daily and embedded in her love of the Eucharist and The Rosary – as well as her gentle acts of kindness to others. She also took great joy in family meals, traveling to all parts of the world, herb gardening, and actively recreating through golfing, skiing, biking, yoga, swimming, walking trails and city paths.

From scouting and religious education to medical foundation fundraisers and French piemaking at Our Lady of Lourdes, Ellen gave of her time in quiet service to her church and community. She enjoyed longtime memberships in Coon Rapids Federated Women’s Club and Bunker Hills Ladies Golf Club, where she served as president in 1992. A Toastmaster International member for a time, her family has been gifted with her beautiful writings.

Her final work was managing several properties owned by her and her husband which she did with great attention to detail. Later on, she pursued a lifelong dream of studying music and piano for several years at MacPhail Center for Music, until the age of 88. A lifelong learner, Ellen also enjoyed books, literature, movies and used technology to research and communicate with family until her final days.

This amazing, resilient, and full life was shaped by her South Dakota prairie upbringing alongside eight siblings during the 1930’s Great Depression. The loss of her father at age nine, and a sister in her early teens, contributed to her hardship, yet she reflected gently about those formative years and visited family over her long life – cherishing the beauty and celebrating the pride of her South Dakota heritage.

Our mother will be greatly missed for her true and honest ways, her example of the daily practice of her faith, her physical routines and resilience, her ability to raise her family up and show her love in small gestures of shared prayer, magazine and newspaper clippings, and candy as well as loving calls, hugs and cards ending with “JMJ.”

The family would like to thank the Park Nicollet Hospice team, especially Annie Watson and Jenna Anderson, as well as other caregivers for their special care of our mother together with family members in her beautiful home for the past year and one-half. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, One Lourdes Place, Minneapolis with Rev. Daniel Griffith officiating on Thursday, October 14, 2021, viewed at beginning with a musical prelude at 9:45 a.m. followed by Mass at 10 a.m. Private interment at Epiphany Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, One Lourdes Place, Minneapolis, MN 55414, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, 200 University Avenue East, Saint Paul, MN 55101, in honor of children with special needs.