Lowell “Lupe” Ellingson

05/25/1941 — 09/02/2015

From Richland, WA | Born in Omaha, NE

Lowell “Lupe” Ellingson

Lowell E “Lupe” Ellingson, 74, passed away on September 2, 2015, at Kadlec Regional Medical Center.  Lupe was born May 25, 1941, to O. V. “Duke” and Wilma Ellingson in Omaha, Nebraska. 

He grew up in North Dakota, attending schools in Williston and graduating from Ray High School in 1959.  His love of the state of North Dakota was obvious to all who knew him and he followed the University of North Dakota athletics, particularly the Fighting Sioux Hockey teams as they frequently reached the Frozen Four.  He attended community college in Williston and graduated in 1969 from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  He furthered his education over the years through Central Washington University (TriCities branch) and Washington State University (TriCities branch).

After graduating high school Lupe joined the Navy on a whim, encouraged by his friend who had thoughtfully decided to enlist.  He served as the disbursing clerk introducing him to accounting and financial fundings.  This decision complimented his interest in geography, history and travel.  He made lifelong friends and eventually took on the joy and responsibility of planning reunions for the USS Whitemarsh, USS Effingham and the USS Shadwell (WEST).  He served on the USS Shadwell during his enlistment from 1959-1963.  Upon leaving the Navy he worked offshore oil in California eventually returning to North Dakota, working in the oil fields to supplement his income to further his education.

Lupe’s auditing profession began as a North Dakota Tax Auditor and in 1975 he began his career with the Department of Energy.  He was assigned to a special investigations unit of DOE, ERA.  He also worked in Midland, Texas, auditing for the Economic Regulatory Commission.  In 1982 he accepted a position with the Washington Public Power Supply System.  He returned to the DOE in 1983 working for the Office of the Inspector General.  In 1991 he accepted a position with Safeguards and Security with the Richland Operations Office.  He worked there until his retirement in 2001. 

He served on the board of directors of the local chapter of the Association of Government Accountants, was treasurer of the Veterans Advisory Council for Richland Operations office, and was a member of the institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Institute of Internal Auditors, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Elks.

Lupe attempted to visit all of the National Parks and Monuments.  Much to the chagrin of his family, vacation side trips would include venturing to remote sites just to get another stamp in the National Parks passport book. He was a collector of many things including over a thousand t-shirts, having a shirt from a university of each of the 50 states.  He and Sara also enjoyed volksmarching to avoid the empty nest syndrome.  The goal-setting Lupe sought to do a 10k walk in each of the state capitols, and he came very close to achieving his goal. 

Lupe met Sara in Jamestown North Dakota and they married in Midland, Texas in 1978. Together they raised Piper, Lupe’s daughter, and Jason and Mikki, Sara’s children.  The family’s primary mode of vacationing was camping.  Adventures included travel to the Gulf coast, Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Canada, and of course spots in North Dakota.  When grandson Adam arrived, he became a huge part of Lupe’s and Sara’s lives.  He took a few trips back to ND with grandpa Lupe and on one occasion followed the Lewis and Clark trail with Adam collecting maps and journals to optimize the historical experience.

He took Jason and Piper to various basketball venues including the final four and sweet sixteen tournaments.

He loved cooking and was a master soup creator.  After he retired, Sara continued to work, but would come home to gourmet-like dinners, never the same thing twice. 

His spare time interests included watching old western shows and movies, Louis Lamour books, a study of Custer’s Last Stand and other historical books and travel magazines.  He had a collection of funky ties and suspenders/braces. 

His travels included a variety of food interests including raw herring in the Netherlands, mussels in Belgium, sardines in Portugal and bangers and mash in London.  He frequently asked for lefse throughout the year and Sara would order it from North Dakota.  His trip to Scotland enhanced his preference for single malt scotch.  Sara could follow the cigar aroma to the back patio when she returned from work to find him with scotch and a cigar.

He loved oysters and trips to Seattle would usually include a few dozen on the half shell.  When Mikki married, he and Matt started out the reception with opening the Oyster Bar.  At Piper’s wedding the oysters were gone when he arrived, so a special order was made to the restaurant for him. 

He enjoyed traveling to Snohomish to visit grandchildren Alexandra and Tyler.  He loved watching their sports including baseball, soccer and basketball. 

His life took a drastic turn in 2010 after surgery at Swedish Hospital. He spent 9 months in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.   In his last years his medical condition deteriorated and he needed in-home care.  A special thanks to Sheril, Neta and Vanessa for their love and care and a special thanks to Fresenius Dialysis in Kennewick for their patience and care.  

Lupe was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Mark, sister, Robin, and grandson, LoganVucelick.

Lupe is survived by his wife of almost 37 years, Sara, his daughter Piper (Matt) Vucelick, his other special “kids”, Mikki (Matt) Davis, and Jason Bergman, brother Douglas and nephew Levi Ellingson.  He also leaves grandchildren, Adam Ellingson, Tyler and Alexandra Davis, Archer Vucelick. 

A celebration of life will be held at Einan’s Event Center, 915 Bypass Highway, Richland on Sunday, September 13 at 2 pm.  Friends are encouraged to dress casually, wearing a favorite t-shirt in Lupe’s honor.  Donations can be made to your favorite National or State Park or the Navy Memorial.

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  • Sara,
    So sorry to hear of Lupe’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
    John and Cindy

    John and Cindy Sandeen
    September 8, 2015
    Minot, North Dakota
  • Piper (and family), it’s clear your dad was a very cool dude, certainly someone I wish I had known! I love the photo of him and the words provided a great picture of who your dad was. I’m so sorry for your loss but so happy to know you had such an awesome man in your life. Hugs my friend.

    Diana DeFever
    September 9, 2015
    Pasco
  • While we never had the opportunity to meet Lupe, he was obviously a very active loving individual. Sara, thanks for keeping us posted on your life the past few years. Lupe certainly had a struggle lately and now he is in a better place. Hang in there cousin and hopefully our paths will cross again.

    David & Linda Sandeen
    September 9, 2015
    Jacksonville, Fl 32250
  • January 6, 2016
    Dear Family,
    Lupe and I played basketball together at the UND Williston Extension Center in 1964-65. Due to lack of funds, I had to drop off the team and go to work. Lupe was several years older than the rest of us and on overnight trips to Miles City or Glendive he and the coaches would hit the bars. The next morning they would be hurting from a hangover. I lost contact with him when we graduated from Williston UND. We both went on to UND in Grand Forks and graduated the same year. That campus was so big I don’t think our paths ever crossed. I noticed his passing in the Alumni Review published by UND. We are forever diminished by his passing. Please accept my condolences for the loss of a really neat guy. There is a photo of him on page 50 of the 1965 “Tetons” annual in his basketball uniform that I could copy and send to you if you lack this annual.
    Norman W. Johnson

    Norman W. Johnson
    January 6, 2016
    Polson, MT
  • Thank you so much for sharing Lowell’s obituary with us. I was a great friend of his sister Robin all through grade and high school into our “adult” years until we sadly lost her. I spent a great deal of time at their home and first met Lowell who Robin and Doug called I thought Loopy. He was home on leave and such a fun guy, always smiling. In later years I also met Piper, the cutest little girl. My last strong memory of Lupe was when I was visiting Robin and her family in Bismarck for the high school basketball tournament. We were teenagers jumping on the bed in our t-shirts and panties, when suddenly there he was, in the doorway grinning ear to ear. All he said was where’s Ma? I am glad to read he had a happy life. He will live on in all your memories.

    Lori Hinricksen Patterson
    September 15, 2015
    Williston North Dakota
  • I was so surprised to see that Lowell had died. He was a classmate of mine during the times we spent in Williston, ND. May he rest in peace.

    Arne Leom
    September 12, 2015
    Watford City, North Dakota
  • Sara and family
    I regret that I never got to meet you and your family.
    Time and distance separated us after graduating from Ray. Lowell went in the Navy, I was supposed to but I went to UND. Kept in touch by proxy through my brother Dennis who was Lowell’s room mate and graduated with him from UND.
    Rest in peace Lupe, until we meet again.

    Gerald Duffy
    September 12, 2015
    Bloomington, MN
  • Sara,
    I will never forget “the Lup” and your family. The many times on Sunday when we ate soup and watched those Cowboys. Working with him was always an adventure back in our DOE days in Midland,Tx. As a boss he always had our back and was always there when called upon. He was so proud of his children and you. My memories of him will be with me forever. Lupe will be missed but not forgotten. I hope to see him someday on the other side.
    Jim

    Jim Cooper
    September 13, 2015
    San Antonio, Tx.
  • Sara,
    So sorry to hear of Lupe’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.
    John and Cindy

    John and Cindy Sandeen
    September 8, 2015
    Minot, North Dakota
  • Piper (and family), it’s clear your dad was a very cool dude, certainly someone I wish I had known! I love the photo of him and the words provided a great picture of who your dad was. I’m so sorry for your loss but so happy to know you had such an awesome man in your life. Hugs my friend.

    Diana DeFever
    September 9, 2015
    Pasco
  • While we never had the opportunity to meet Lupe, he was obviously a very active loving individual. Sara, thanks for keeping us posted on your life the past few years. Lupe certainly had a struggle lately and now he is in a better place. Hang in there cousin and hopefully our paths will cross again.

    David & Linda Sandeen
    September 9, 2015
    Jacksonville, Fl 32250
  • January 6, 2016
    Dear Family,
    Lupe and I played basketball together at the UND Williston Extension Center in 1964-65. Due to lack of funds, I had to drop off the team and go to work. Lupe was several years older than the rest of us and on overnight trips to Miles City or Glendive he and the coaches would hit the bars. The next morning they would be hurting from a hangover. I lost contact with him when we graduated from Williston UND. We both went on to UND in Grand Forks and graduated the same year. That campus was so big I don’t think our paths ever crossed. I noticed his passing in the Alumni Review published by UND. We are forever diminished by his passing. Please accept my condolences for the loss of a really neat guy. There is a photo of him on page 50 of the 1965 “Tetons” annual in his basketball uniform that I could copy and send to you if you lack this annual.
    Norman W. Johnson

    Norman W. Johnson
    January 6, 2016
    Polson, MT
  • Thank you so much for sharing Lowell’s obituary with us. I was a great friend of his sister Robin all through grade and high school into our “adult” years until we sadly lost her. I spent a great deal of time at their home and first met Lowell who Robin and Doug called I thought Loopy. He was home on leave and such a fun guy, always smiling. In later years I also met Piper, the cutest little girl. My last strong memory of Lupe was when I was visiting Robin and her family in Bismarck for the high school basketball tournament. We were teenagers jumping on the bed in our t-shirts and panties, when suddenly there he was, in the doorway grinning ear to ear. All he said was where’s Ma? I am glad to read he had a happy life. He will live on in all your memories.

    Lori Hinricksen Patterson
    September 15, 2015
    Williston North Dakota
  • I was so surprised to see that Lowell had died. He was a classmate of mine during the times we spent in Williston, ND. May he rest in peace.

    Arne Leom
    September 12, 2015
    Watford City, North Dakota
  • Sara and family
    I regret that I never got to meet you and your family.
    Time and distance separated us after graduating from Ray. Lowell went in the Navy, I was supposed to but I went to UND. Kept in touch by proxy through my brother Dennis who was Lowell’s room mate and graduated with him from UND.
    Rest in peace Lupe, until we meet again.

    Gerald Duffy
    September 12, 2015
    Bloomington, MN
  • Sara,
    I will never forget “the Lup” and your family. The many times on Sunday when we ate soup and watched those Cowboys. Working with him was always an adventure back in our DOE days in Midland,Tx. As a boss he always had our back and was always there when called upon. He was so proud of his children and you. My memories of him will be with me forever. Lupe will be missed but not forgotten. I hope to see him someday on the other side.
    Jim

    Jim Cooper
    September 13, 2015
    San Antonio, Tx.
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