Jerome “Jerry” Abner Ellingson, 85, died on April 8, 2017, at his home in Spring Grove surrounded by his loving family after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born Nov. 30, 1931, to Grant and Alma (Morken) Ellingson at their home in rural Spring Grove. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove and graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1949.

Jerry was a lifelong resident of Spring Grove and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and the American Legion Post 249.

Jerry married Audrey Kjome on May 10, 1955, and they raised seven children. Jerry served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 and was stationed at Camp Roberts, Calif., and Fort Lewis, Wash.

After his discharge, Jerry hauled milk, drove school bus, worked on the farm, and worked for the U.S. Postal Service at various locations and retired as postmaster in Spring Grove.

During high school, Jerry played basketball and baseball. He enjoyed playing softball, bowling, playing cards and spending time with family.

Jerry was known for his love of all sports. He loved the Minnesota Vikings and Twins, but his favorite team was the Spring Grove Lions. He was honored by being named Fan of the Year 2015-2016 and continued to attend games until his health no longer allowed.

Jerry was known for his patriotism. He served as past commander of the American Legion Post 249 and participated in funerals, parades and honoring veterans by placing cemetery flags each Memorial Day for many years. He was honored to participate in the Freedom Honor Flight on May 7, 2016.

Survivors include his children, Jeff (Joyce Merchlewitz) Ellingson of Spring Grove, Jennifer (Brad Hunter) Bury of La Crescent, Kristy (Gary) Selness of Zumbrota, Gary (Maureen) Ellingson of Racine, Lynn Sobeck of Rochester, Beth (Patrick) Pederson of Holmen, Wis., and Mike (Sandy Wojahn) Ellingson of Spring Grove; grandchildren, Adam (Sarah) Ellingson, Matt (Jenni) Ellingson, Mandy Ellingson, Amy Bury, Ben Bury, Melissa (Travis) Devlaeminck, Jason(Hannah Watkins) Selness, Tanya (Chris) Bredesen, Bob Ellingson, Kelsey Ellingson, Tyler Sobeck, Katie Grabau, Sarah Sobeck, Taylor Pederson, Nicole Pederson, Alex Ellingson, and Haley Ellingson; and great-grandchildren, Sam Ellingson, Lauren and Kennedy Ellingson, Olivia and Carissa Bredesen.

Other survivors include his sister, Shirley (Curt) Schroeder and several nieces and nephews as well as many beloved friends.

Jerry was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Audrey; his parents; and Audrey’s parents, Nels and Selma Kjome, and her siblings, Ruth (Odell) Lee, Marilyn (Cliff) Rasmussen, John (Ione) Kjome, Jerome “Verdell” Kjome and Norvin “Joe” Kjome.

Funeral services will be Thursday, April 13, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove. The Rev. Jim Scaife will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Visitation will be at the church on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. and one hour prior to service.

Roble Funeral Service assisted the family with arrangements, and online condolences may be left at www.roblefuneralhome.com.