Patricia Ellefson

EllefsonPat_webPatricia “Pat” Ellefson, 64, of Winona, died peacefully with her family by her side on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Lake Winona Manor after a two and a half year battle with cancer, which she faced with remarkable strength, courage and grace.

Pat was born July 17, 1948 in Caledonia to Emmett and Palma (Stoltz) Utke. She graduated from Loretto High School in 1966 and went on to graduate from Winona State with a bachelor’s degree in education. On June 22, 1968 she married Dennis Ellefson in Freeburg, Minn.  Pat was an elementary school teacher in the Cochrane-Fountain City School district from 1970-1973. With the birth of her second child, she set aside her career to raise her two children.  She owned and operated the Short Stop Store in Goodview from 1981 until selling it to Kwik Trip in 1989. She then built, owned and operated the Midwestern Motel in Goodview for 22 years until her death.  Pat’s favorite pastimes were golfing, bowling, card club and playing with her grandkids.

Pat was a fighter.  She was very strong willed and never gave up.    She cared greatly for her family – never wanting to see them hurt.  She enjoyed company and good conversation. When you talked with her, she always made your opinions feel relevant and welcome. She will be missed, but will remain forever in our hearts.

She is survived by her husband, Dennis; two children, Mike (Debbie) Ellefson, Winona; and Jenny,  Red Wing; two grandchildren, Nathan and Kayla Ellefson; sister, Mari Beth (Jerry) Ross, Hugo; two brothers, David (Sharon) Utke, Coon Rapids and Terry (Debra) Utke, Waukon, Iowa; uncle and aunt, Dean and Henrietta Foltz,  Caledonia and 19 nieces and nephews.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Rebecca DeWitt.

The funeral service will be 11 a.m., Friday, June 14 at Pleasant Valley Church with the Reverend Rick Iglesias officiating. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday at Hoff Celebration of Life Center in Goodview with a prayer service at 8 p.m.  Visitation will continue from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at church.

Memorials may be directed to the St. Nicholas Cemetery in Freeburg.

Please share a memory of Pat and sign her online guestbook at