GRAND ISLAND — Dr. Robert L. Ellsworth “Bob”, 94 of Grand Island, died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Center in Ravenna.
Services will be 2 p.m. Monday at the United Congregational Church with the Rev. Lonnie Logan officiating. Burial will be in the Grand Island City Cemetery.
Visitation will be 2-4 p.m. today at Apfel Funeral Home in Grand Island. Memorials are suggested to the United Congregational Church and First Baptist Church of Grand Island.
Dr. Ellsworth was born April 5, 1918, in Grand Island, the son of Allen and Minnie (Reinecke) Ellsworth. He graduated from Grand Island Senior High School in 1936. He then attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he received his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1941, master’s degree in 1950, and his doctorate in education in 1965.
He was united in marriage to Floy Karle on January 31, 1941, at Smith Center, Kan. In 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army. He was commissioned in 1943 and served in the European Theatre. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He was a music teacher at Osceola from 1941-1942; Curtis from 1946-1962; becoming Principal in 1952. He was then employed as band director at Omaha Technical High School from 1962-1966; principal at Fairbury High School from 1966-1974 and was later superintendent at Crawford Public Schools from 1974-1976 and Burwell High School in 1976, retiring in 1984. The couple returned to Grand Island where they remained.
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He was an accomplished organist, playing for the Grand Island First Baptist and United Congregational Churches and was the grand musician for York Rites Masons of Nebraska in 1998 and for the State of Nebraska Eastern Star in 1994. He was master of Curris Lodge in 1950 and a member of Ashlar Lodge #33 A.F. and A.M., Grand Island, also a member of Deuel Chapter #11 Royal Arch Masons, Grand Island; Lebanon Council #24 Cryptic Masons, Central City; and Lebanon Commandry #6 of Knights Templar, Grand Island. He was awarded the Knights of York Cross of Honor and was a member of the Tehamah Shrine of Hastings (motor patrol). He was also a member of the Retired School Teachers Association and the Friday Noon Kiwanis Club.
Dr. Ellsworth was greatly appreciated for playing the piano and organ for area nursing homes, Kiwanis Club, Grand Generation Center, Masonic and Eastern Star ceremonies, and for accompanying many soloists for weddings and funeral services.
Survivors include one son, Robert A. “Bob” and Mary Kay Ellsworth of Bellwood; two daughters and sons-in-law, Ruth Anne and Kenneth Hartman of Douglas, Donna Jean and David Ramsay of Curtis; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; one brother, A. Eugene “Gene” Ellsworth of Dallas, Texas; brother-in-law, Allyn Karle of Grand Island; and son-in-law, Ted Sheil.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Floy; grandson, David Sheil; and sisters, Virginia Floro and Henrietta O’Neal.