Donald F. Ellingson

April 18, 1924 - December 8, 2020

Donald  F.  Ellingson


Donald F. Ellingson 96, of Poplar Grove, IL passed away December, 8, 2020 at home surrounded by family. He was born April, 18, 1924 in Poplar Grove, IL, the son of Ernie and Fern (Flemming) Ellingson. Donald was a 1941 graduate of Belvidere High School and was a lifelong dairy farmer. Donald married the love of his life Genevieve Voorhies on June 22, 1946 at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church. Don was the first president of the Belvidere FFA in 1941. He won the county’s first Outstanding Young Farmer award and served many years on numerous dairy promotional and cooperative boards. He was on the school board when Poplar Grove began teaching Kindergarten. He also served on the board of the Poplar Grove United Methodist Church. Don helped start the Little League in North Boone. He was president of the Farm Bureau. He and Genevieve were parade marshals for the Poplar Grove Sesquicentennial. He wrote history books for his family and also for the Holstein breed. He was very involved with the Holstein Club. Don worked hard to turn Illinois into a national power in the Dairy Quiz Bowl competition. In 1986, he coached Illinois’ first national champion team. Two years later, he coached five of his grandchildren to compete at nationals in San Diego. Don was a 4-H leader and he loved the Boone County Fair. He was very proud that he never missed a fair and that his family competed at Boone County for 100 consecutive years.  Don made his spiritual home at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church. He will be missed by all.

Don is loved and missed by his loving wife, Genevieve; children, Robert (Sandra Brockmann) Ellingson, Terry (Kay) Ellingson, Denny (Janet) Ellingson, William (Wendy) Ellingson; grandchildren, John (Toni) Ellingson, Brian (Renee) Ellingson, Michael (Mary) Ellingson, Rebecca Ellingson Wydra, Ted (Lara) Ellingson, Steve (Natalie) Ellingson, Matt Ellingson as well as 15 great-grandchildren. Don is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Lt. Joelbert Ellingson who was killed in WWII.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to OSF Hospice, especially Mary and Kim, for their unending love and support.

The walk-through visitation will be held 2:00 pm till 5:00 pm, Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church, 105 E Grove St, Poplar Grove, IL 61065.  Social distancing and facemasks required. Funeral services will be private and officiated by Rev. Darren Loeppky and Patrick Anderson. Memorials in Don’s honor can be given to Poplar Grove United Methodist Church or the Boone County 4-H.  Burial in Poplar Grove Cemetery. To light a candle or share a condolence please visit

Service Schedule

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Poplar Grove United Methodist Church


The walk-through visitation will be held 2:00 pm till 5:00 pm, Sunday, December 13, 2020 at Poplar Grove United Methodist Church, 105 E Grove St, Poplar Grove, IL 61065.  Social distancing and facemasks required.

Funeral services will be private and officiated by Rev. Darren Loeppky and Patrick Anderson.

Burial in Belvidere Cemetery

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My sincere condolences on the passing of, my friend, Donald Ellington. His sense of humor was keen and always a delight. I will miss the joy he passed to each of us.

Sue Totz 2020-12-16T15:06:07

I have so many great memories of Don as a spokesman for agriculture, a customer, a fellow Norwegian, and a friend. His life was full of purpose,
and was an example for all of us.

Paul Wallem

Paul Wallem 2020-12-13T12:00:58

We extend our sincere Thoughts and Prayers with the passing of Don. A true friend and Holstein enthusiast; we will miss his discussion and commitment. His family history he shared was impressive. We extend our sympathy to Don’s family. Mike and Carol Hutjens, University of Illinois

Mike Hutjens 2020-12-11T13:17:49

Sincere condolences to the entire family.

Jack & Janet (Newhouse) Engelsen 2020-12-11T13:00:45

Don was a great storyteller. I loved to listen to him talk about Boone County’s agricultural history and the local Registered Holstein scene from before my time. The Boone County Fair won’t be the same without him. He will be missed but he left a great legacy in this community.

Curt Newport 2020-12-11T09:19:12

So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Know that you are in our hearts & prayers.

Ken & Linda Stehley 2020-12-11T08:21:05

Bob, Terry, Dennis, Bill and Families – Condolences on the passing of your father. What a life! I have so many fond memories of showing our Holsteins at the district and state show as well as at Boone County Fair. Prayers.

Dianne Loft 2020-12-11T08:11:03

Keeping your family in my prayers at this sad time. What a legacy he was.

Nancy Turner Hearn

Nancy Turner Hearn 2020-12-11T07:52:45

Terry, Kay and family. We join your many friends in expressing our sympathy to you in your loss. Your father lead a full life. You have many good memories to hold dear and to have him continue as a very important part of your life, a life you shared for so many years. Sincerely, Owen and Lynn

Owen and Lynn Dunstall 2020-12-11T07:49:57

Genevieve and all of Don’s loved ones, I send you my condolences on Don’s passing. He was truly Mr. Boone County Fair and an avid Holstein breeder. I am most grateful to him for his extensive genealogical research. May you find comfort.

Rosemary Palmer 2020-12-11T07:41:13

Thought and prayers I always enjoyed talking to Don at the fair

Norm Utpadel 2020-12-10T15:30:07

Deepest sympathy Always enjoyed seeing Don at the Fair

Craig & Bev Miller 2020-12-10T15:28:22

Dear Genevieve, Terry and Kay, and the entire Ellingson Family,

We are so sorry for the great loss of your very loved one. My latest memory of Don was when the UMW ladies visited with him and Genevieve a year ago. We had a great chat with them and loved that they joined in to sing Christmas carols with us. Don was very much on his game that day.

Marcia K. Robson 2020-12-10T10:03:30


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