Mary Ann Ellingsen

Mary Ann Ellingsen passed away at the age of 90 on Sunday, January 7th at Merrill Gardens, Burien.

Mary Ann was born on May 24, 1927, to Hans and Amy Eriksen of Vashon Island. She had one brother, Stanley Eriksen. She spent most of her early years at the Eriksen home on Ober Beach. She said many times that her childhood there was magical- with close neighbors, a vibrant church community, and many fun adventures on the west side of Vashon Island. She attended most of her school years on Vashon, graduating from Vashon High School in 1945.

After high school she attended Seattle University and entered the Providence Hospital School of Nursing, graduating as an RN in June, 1948. It was during this time she began corresponding with her friend’s brother, Karl Ellingsen, while he was in the military. Karl and Mary Ann married on March 26, 1949.

Karl was working for Alaska Airlines, so they made their home in Des Moines, Washington, where they raised four children. Mary Ann stayed busy as a Cub Scout Den Mother, Camp Fire Leader and she volunteered everywhere her kids needed her. She never missed little league or football games, recitals, or any other activity her busy children asked of her. She was a favorite field trip mom as all the other kids loved being around her.

In the early 60s Mary Ann returned to work part-time and enjoyed working again as an RN with several different clinics in the Seattle area. She was a caring, compassionate person, which made nursing a perfect career choice for her.

She enjoyed cooking, reading, Scrabble, and crafts. She honored her Danish roots by making many Scandinavian foods over her lifetime, making the holidays particularly special. During later years she took up golf – a favorite sport of Karl’s. She got the golf bug and they began golfing regularly at the Vashon Island Golf Club, where they were members. She particularly enjoyed golfing with all her friends on Ladies Day at the club and had many special friends there.

Mary Ann enjoyed traveling. In 1969, she traveled to Denmark and Italy with her mother, Amy. They spent 2 weeks there with family learning more about distant relatives from that part of the world. Karl and Mary Ann did their share of traveling also, but Hawaii was their favorite, and they spent many vacations there.

They spent summers and weekends at the Ober Beach cabin. In 1993, after selling their home in Des Moines, they spent 6 years living at the cabin. This was a rugged lifestyle at their age, but they seemed to enjoy it. As long as they were together, they could handle anything. After Karl’s death, Mary Ann lived at the Homeport Condominiums on Vashon until moving to the Burien area.

Mary Ann especially loved spending time with her grandchildren and was fortunate to live close enough to see them often. They have many wonderful memories of time spent with her, particularly those on Ober Beach.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents, brother, husband Karl and son, Douglas Ellingsen. She is survived by her son Jerry Ellingsen (Pam Hill) and daughters Diane Ellingsen and Susan Stinson (Scott), and grandchildren, Kelsey, Tanner, Brady and Aimee. She also leaves a brother-in-law, Ray Wales, and many nieces and nephews.

Mary Ann’s life will be remembered at Bethel Church (14736 Bethel Lane SW, Vashon) on Friday, January 19th, 11 am. Please feel free to join us to remember her and share lunch. Mary Ann loved bright colors – especially blue – so we encourage you to wear something happy.

Donations can be made to The American Heart Association or to the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum.

She made many friends over the years and was a loving mother.

She will be missed by many.

Please visit our online guest book at

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