James L. Ellefson


James L. Ellefson (Jim) age 76 years of Pine Island passed away on December 16, 2023 at St. Marys hospital after a lengthy illness. Jim was born on April 30, 1947 in Red Wing, MN to Gilman and Anola Ellefson. Jim was the oldest of 5 siblings.  He married Donna Douglas formally of Brandon, Vermont while stationed in the Air force on Sept 20, 1969 in Montclair, California. Together they had 2 sons Shane and Christopher.

Jim graduated in 1965 from Kasson Mantorville High School. Jim entered the US Air Force in March of 1966 trained in Amarillo Texas as an aircraft mechanic and in August of 1966 was transferred to Nellis Air Force base in Las Vegas Nevada. In August of 1967 he was assigned to the Thailand / Vietnam Air offensive phase Korat Thailand and in November 1967 he then went to Takhli Thailand as assistant crew chief on the flight line working on F 105 fighter jets until November 1967. In September 1968 he transferred back to the states and was assigned to George Airforce base Victorville, California where he remained until his honorable discharge in January 1970. Jim received 5 medals for his service during war time. After his 4 years serving his country, he attended 2 years at RTCT attending the Building Maintenance program.

In 1975 to 2006 he worked for Rochester Public Utilities silver lake plant as a mechanic and then retired. He worked several odd jobs for a few short years until fully retiring.

Jim enjoyed the great outdoors, trips to the Boundary water canoe areas, hunting at a special cabin in Mazeppa with family and friends and fishing on Lake Pepin with his wife Donna. Family campouts with his boys and cousins, Aunts and Uncles and siblings. Taking trips to Vermont with his family was high on his priority list to visit Donna’s parents.

As a couple they were very active in their church singing choir, participating in drama productions, Greeting ministry and car care ministry. Jim and Donna also welcomed small group Bible study into their home. For the past 7 years Donna has been Jim’s caregiver in their home.

Jim is survived by his wife, Donna of 54 years; son, Shane (Jenny) a combined family of 6 children Tanner (Theresa) Ellefson, Anna Ellefson, Hannah, Hallie, Hogan, Henry Bergene of Adams Minnesota; son, Christopher (Pastor Paula) of Rochester and their 4 sons, Mason (Mariah) of Wycoff, Brayden, Austin and Landyn of Rochester; brother, Paul (Ginger) of Rochester, sister, Kathleen Briggs of Racine, MN, Rebecca Ellefson of Zumbrota, MN; a special family Larisa Gavrilova Jordon Alexander and Zoya of Augusta, Georgia; and several nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a brother Mark; and his moms second husband Lenard Brown, and brother-in-law Roger Briggs.

Celebration of life will be on January 4, 2024 at the Assembly of God Church, 424018th Avenue NW in Rochester with Pastor Floyd O’Bryan officiating. Visitation 9am, celebration 11am, and lunch to follow. Donations can be made to The American Heart Association. There will be an interment in the Pine Island Cemetery at a later date.

Memories and condolences of Jim may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com

4 thoughts on “James L. Ellefson

  1. So sorry Diane and I can’t be at the celebration of life with you. We will head south before then. Prayers for you and your family. Jim’s suffering is over and his soul resides in a better place. Take care of yourself.

  2. hugs and condolances to all the family. Donna my thoughts have been with you during your caregiving time. Bless you and your family ..time for you to rest up.

  3. Sincere thought and prays at this time of loss. How comforting when we know a loved one is in the arms of Jesus, despite how much those left behind will miss this loved one.

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