Cover photo for Ellen Jane March's Obituary
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1936 Ellen 2024

Ellen Jane March

June 12, 1936 — January 17, 2024

Canton, South Dakota

   Ellen Jane March of Canton, SD passed on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Sioux Center Health. Following a rapid decline in health due to Alzheimer's/Dementia, Ellen spent the last three months of her life in the memory care unit at Friendly Horizons in Sioux Center. Friendly Horizons staff treated Ellen with compassionate care, love, and laughter, filling her final days with joy and peace. 

    Memorial Service will be 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2024, at Porter Funeral Home in Hawarden, Iowa with Father Mauro Sanchez officiating. Burial of the cremated remains will be at Grace Hill Cemetery. 

    Ellen was born on June 12, 1936, in Jefferson, SD to Delphis and Violet (Counter) Brouillette. She met the love of her life, Arnold March, at a carnival in September of 1953. The couple wed shortly after on December 1, 1953, and went on to have 4 children; Donna, Donald, Daniel, and Doris. The two later adopted their grandson, Andrew.

    In 1958, Ellen worked as a cook for the railroad, where Arnold was employed. From 1967-1974, she worked for Otis Radio, and in 1978 changed jobs to K-products sewing caps and jackets until she retired in the early to mid 90’s.

    Ellen was devout in her faith. She loved her Sundays at St. Mary's Catholic Church and was a member of their women’s gathering, Lady's Church Circle. She was known to always have a dish prepared for the church luncheons, including her famous potato salad made from memory, and would plan games for the church Spring carnival, including a kissing booth and having Arnold make the game Plinko.   

    Ellen and Arnold were known to their neighbors for coffee and cards. The couple played lots of games with their family including Solitaire, King’s Corner, Crazy 8’s, Dominoes, Rummikub, Croquet, and a homemade version of Jenga. The couple’s home was also known for music. With portraits and statues decorating the house, Ellen was not shy about her love of the late singer, Elvis.

    In Ellen’s own words, she felt like she was “quite serious”, but felt others would describe her as “easy-going, family-oriented, and always doing things for others”. And that’s exactly who she was. A very humble and introverted woman who was rich in kindness and had a deep love for her family.

    Her hobbies included quiet work like quilting, crocheting, and working in her vegetable garden. She was known to crochet baby blankets and sew bedspreads for every new grandchild.

    And though she was introverted, you could always find Ellen with her family. She was known for hosting the annual family reunion at Oak Grove during Christmas time and planning very elaborate and creative Easter egg hunts in her home. For many years, she found joy in taking the grandchildren camping in the summer and roller skating every other weekend.

    Ellen had a quiet strength and a very determined perseverance in the things that meant the most to her. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and didn’t let much stop her, including cancer. She was a two-time breast cancer survivor.

    In retirement, Ellen and Arnold enjoyed many winters under the sunshine in Mission, Texas. There they held a second home away from home where Ellen enjoyed swimming and sunning.

    In her later years, Ellen developed a fondness for cats. Her favorite was a big black cat named Elvis, who would lounge on Ellen’s lap as she crocheted during her TV programs. In December 2023, Ellen and Arnold celebrated 70 years of marriage.

    She is preceded in death by her parents, Delphis and Violet Brouillette; her in-laws, Vernon and Jeanie March; her brothers, David and Peter; her six brothers-in-law, Carl Husk, Vernon Voss, Ron Peters, Don Gagnon, Vyrlen March, and Wilber March; her nephew, Michael Voss, and her grandson, Michael Keehn. 

    Surviving relatives include her husband, Arnold; her brother, Dick (Marion) Brouillette of Bartlett, IL; her three sisters, Violet Husk of Westfield, IA, Elsie Voss of Clearlake, CA, and Sally Peters of Cherokee, IA; her sister-in-law Lucille Gagnon of Kennewick, WA; her four children, Donna Sturtevant of Hawarden, IA, Donald (Kathy Wilke) March of Hudson, SD, Daniel (Linda) March of Canton, SD, and Doris (Jeff) Keehn of Hawarden, IA; and her 18 grandchildren, Joshua Kremer, Jody Keiser, Adam Kremer, Angela March, Benjamin March, Andrew March, Lisa Eidenshink, Johnna Phillippe, Cynthia Lorenzetti, Celeste Overhulser, Wayne Overhulser, Daisy Lindsay, Jesse March, Aliya March, Kellyn March, Trisha Jarvis, Nikita Kleyer, Mandi Harlow, many great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Jane March, please visit our flower store.
Ellen March Memorial Bulletin.pdf
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Friday, April 12, 2024

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