June 20, 1927 - October 22, 2017


Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 26, 2017 at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Rice for Steven Ellefson, Jr., age 90, of Sauk Rapids who died Sunday at the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud. Rev. David Edge will officiate and burial will be at the Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery near Little Falls. Visitation will be from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in Sauk Rapids and one hour prior to the services Thursday at the church in Rice. There will be a time of sharing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Steven Ellefson, Jr. was born in Princeton, MN to Stephen & Dorothy (Krueger) Ellefson on June 20, 1927. He then moved to Clear Lake, MN where his Dad opened up the barbershop. He joined the Navy at age 17 and served from November 28, 1944 to April 21, 1948 during WW II. He survived the Halsey Typhoon of 1944.

After the service he attended chef school in Minneapolis and took a job at the Willmar State Hospital as their head chef. He married Alice Anderson on September 1, 1951 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, MN. They moved to Anoka, MN where became the head chef at the Anoka Steakhouse. He started in the meat business with Christman Sausage and later became a self employed meat distributor.

After retirement, he did several jobs, he drove school bus for Sauk Rapids-Rice School District along with the school van picking up the Special Education students. He worked at Dingmann Funeral Home, McDonalds Meats, Coborns and the Sauk Rapids Compost.

Steven was very proud of the city of Sauk Rapids, and showed this through his years of volunteerism, being the Park Board, Sauk Rapids Recreation Board, Greeter at the Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School. He was instrumental in the development of Bob Cross Park. He was active in the Sauk Rapids Lions Club, where his passion was raising money for the Diabetes Foundation and hosting several pancake breakfasts for the Sauk Rapids High School Marching Band to go on various trips. He was a member of Sauk Rapids American Legion Post #254 and St. Cloud East Side VFW Post #4847. In 2000, he was selected as the Sauk Rapids Citizen of the Year.

Steven’s deep faith led him to becoming a charter member of Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Rice, MN. He was on the Board of Lay Ministry, sang in the church choir, was an usher and a greeter, he was also known to many as the “Church Grandpa”.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Alice of Sauk Rapids; children, Bradley (Jan) Ellefson of Westport, SD, Barbara Ellefson of Sauk Rapids, Jeffrey (Sharon) Ellefson of San Juan Capistrano, CA; daughter-in-law, Karen Ellefson of Sauk Rapids; grandchildren, Justin and Matthew Ellefson, Phillip and Leanna Murphy, Leah Ellefson, Charlie and Alex Henkemeyer, Noah Ellefson and Hannah Eggert; and brother, Cyril (Vicki) Ellefson. He was preceded in death by his son, Steven V. Ellefson; parents, Stephen and Dorothy Ellefson; brother, Donovan Ellefson; and sister, Betty Joy Erickson.

Steven was the true definition of a “family man”, he loved each and every one of us and was always there if any of us ever needed anything or him. He will be truly missed by his family, friends and church family.