Ellsworth Leon Molden was born alongside his twin sister, Eileen, on September 29, 1928 to Selmer and Amanda (Olson) Molden in Edison Township, Swift County, and was baptized shortly thereafter. He was a well-rounded, hard-working child, helping both his father farm and his mother with chores around the house. Ellsworth attended country school through the eighth grade and was confirmed at Big Bend Lutheran Church in Chippewa County. He was a handyman that could fix anything, and put his skills to good use working for an International dealer in Montevideo, even though he had a preference for John Deere. A man of many talents, Ellsworth also enjoyed dancing and met his future wife, Violet Sulflow, at a dance at Gladys’ Ballroom in Montevideo one night. The two were married on August 19, 1950 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Montevideo. Ellsworth and Violet made their home in the rural Montevideo area at Violet’s grandpa’s farm. It was at this farm that Ellsworth raised a variety of livestock including sheep, ducks that multiplied too quickly, registered hogs, 1500 chickens, and 325 cattle at one point. Together, Ellsworth and Violet raised three sons on the farm: David, Darrell, and Lynn.
In 1983, Ellsworth and Violet moved to the Holmes City area and worked to build their lake home him and Violet would live in for the next 35 years. Unable to give up his love for farming, he would still travel back to the Montevideo area to help his sons with the family farm. His love of tractors was unmatched. He collected over 40 antique tractors and couldn’t resist the insatiable pull of the Elbow Lake John Deere dealer lot. The sight of a tractor dealer would cause an immediate right or left hand turn of his vehicle into their lot. While living in Holmes City, Ellsworth kept busy as a self-employed snowplower and gravel hauler. He was often paid by others in the form of coffee and treats. Ellsworth loved a good cup of coffee and thoroughly enjoyed retirement, frequenting local cafes with his “coffee boys”, discussing important retirement “business.” Other retirement activities he enjoyed were hunting, fishing, playing cards, and a great antique find at a garage sale. He liked gadgets and his family fondly remembers him purchasing a twist-and-shape workout machine, thinking it would help him to slim down his waistline, only to end up as a blanket holder in the living room.
Ellsworth will be remembered as a jovial, social man that loved to tease and laugh. He had a great sense of humor and could be found perusing his neighborhood in Holmes City on his golf cart, looking for someone outside to socialize with. He was a man that truly lived in the moment.
On Wednseday, February 20, 2019, Ellsworth passed away at the Knute Nelson Care Center at the age of 90. He is preceded in death by his parents, Selmer and Amanda Molden; son, David Molden; twin sister, Eileen Larson; brothers, Harris, Meredith, Warren, and Daryles Molden, and other in-laws.
Ellsworth is survived by his wife of 68 years, Violet; sons Darrell and Lynn (Patty) Molden; grandchildren, Colleen (Pat) Aaberg, Cherlynn (Jason) DeJong, Chris (Jackie) Molden, Ryan Molden, Brenin (Claire) Molden, Teagan Molden; great-grandchildren, Lily, Sam, and Finn Aaberg, London, Addison, Graeme, and Lawson Molden; sister-in-law, Betty Molden, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be on Sunday, February 24, from 4-7 PM, with a time of prayers and memory sharing beginning at 6:30 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home. Visitation will continue at Trinity Lutheran Church in Holmes City on Monday, February 25 at 10 AM followed by the funeral service at 11 AM. Interment to follow at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Montevideo, MN.