Samuel E. Ellson - Mantorville

Samuel E. Ellson, 87, of rural Mantorville, died at his home on Wednesday (Feb. 22, 2012).

Sam was born on the family farm, where he lived all his life, on Jan. 3, 1925, to Ernest and Bertha (Andrist) Ellson. He attended country schools and graduated from Mantorville High School. He served in the United States Army from 1950 to 1952, working in the chaplain's office.

Sam’s passion in life was music. He was the organist and minister of music at Zwingli United Congregational Church in Berne, from 1952 until 2010. He also founded the bell choir at Zwingli United Congregational Church and taught hundreds of people how to play bells. He was an organ teacher and a published composer.

Sam loved all things Swiss, and was the founder of the Berne Swissfest, which he was active in for 58 years. He greatly enjoyed his many visits to Switzerland. He was a co-owner of Bodine’s Music Store in Rochester for many years, and also taught organ at Schmitt Music Center in Rochester.

Samuel is survived by several cousins, including Susan McClocklin of (Rochester); numerous friends; and the congregation of Zwingli United Congregational Church. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The memorial service will be 11 a.m. Monday at Zwingli United Congregational Church in rural Berne, with the Rev. Victor Jortack and the Rev. Terje Hausken officiating. Friends may call from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Mahn Family Funeral Home- Mahler Chapel in Pine Island, and also one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at Berne Cemetery following the memorial service. Friends may sign the online guestbook at