Doreen Ellis

Doreen Louise Ellis, 87, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2020, at Genesis Senior Living Center in Des Moines. She was born on January 30, 1933, on the family farm in Franklin County, Nebraska. 

Doreen graduated from Upland High School and completed her education at Grand Island Business School. Doreen caught the eye of Gene Ellis after seeing a photograph of her from his friend while serving overseas in the Navy. There was an immediate connection and they corresponded through more than 500 letters and a couple international phone calls over the years. She knew she was in trouble when one of his letters contained an upside down stamp; an indication he was in love. Doreen and Gene met in person in 1952 and were united in marriage the following year. 

The happy couple moved to Washington D.C. where Gene completed his service. Once honorably discharged, they moved back to Upland where Gene opened an oil business in Hastings, NE. They later settled in Des Moines where they made their home and raised their children in Highland Park. 

Doreen worked in the Controller’s Office at Norwest Financial for 25 years. She was an active member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her family whom she loved beyond measure. 

Doreen is survived by her daughter, Lorelli (Donald) Matz; son, Matthew (Kristin) Ellis; grandchildren, Matthew Ellis Eldon (Alicia) Matz, Marcus Matthew (Samantha) Ellis, and Abbigail Ann Louise Ellis; as well as a host of other loving family and many special friends. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Clara Nitzel, and her husband of 44 years, Gene Ellis.

Services were held on Saturday, October 31, 2020, at Hamilton’s near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Avenue in Des Moines, with a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 2, at Upland Cemetery in Upland, NE. 

In loving memory of Doreen, memorial contributions may be directed to Suncrest Hospice, Genesis Senior Living Center, or memorial of your choice.

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