Doris Harriet Skavhaug was born on November 7, 1925 in Vergas, MN to Gilbert Paul Nelson and Mabel (Johnson) Nelson, the eighth of ten children. As a young girl she attended Newbre Country School and later attended high school in Southam, ND. She was a member of Sarepta Lutheran Church, rural Adams and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Park River. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.
Doris lost her mother when she was 9 years old. She then learned to make bread and other baking which led to her love of baking and cooking throughout her lifetime. She made wonderful buns, kolaches and cinnamon twists.
Doris married Leonard Ellefson on January 25, 1944. They made their home in Edmore, ND. They were blessed with four children: Sheldon Wayne, Randi Kaye, Rodney Lynn and Tammy Rae. They moved to Lawton, ND where Doris managed and cooked at the Café. She met many wonderful people in Lawton and the surrounding area.
Doris married Alden Skavhaug of Adams, ND, where they made their home and farmed for several years. They were blessed with two sons: Kevin Lynn and Colin Lane.
In 1967 Doris moved to Park River, ND where she was head cook at the Walsh County Ag School. She enjoyed her job at the high school and talked about it often during her lifetime. She loved the students and oftentimes referred to them as her kids. She was a QSP/respite care provider for several years. She loved her clients and their families.
Doris had several hobbies: baking, sewing, music and reading. She loved music. She played the guitar, piano and accordion - all by ear! At family gatherings the 3 Nelson sisters (Gladys, Lila & Doris) would often sing and harmonize while the family gathered and listened. She enjoyed simple carpentry. When she had a project to be done, she enjoyed the challenge. She loved what she did and she did it well.
When Doris lost her son, Rodney Ellefson, in 2014, her heart was broken. She grieved like she loved – very deeply.
She moved to the Good Samaritan Home in Park River in 2017 and lived there until the time of her death.
Doris was a loving servant and her generous heart was a blessing to all. She loved our Lord and Savior and shared her faith with many.
She is survived by her children: Sheldon (Barbara) Ellefson, Park River; Randi (Rodney) Bangsund, Morris, MN; Tammy (John) Thelen, Grand Forks, ND; Kevin (Mary) Skavhaug, Park River, ND; Colin Skavhaug, Park River, ND; Grandchildren: Wendy (Chad) Arendt, Park River, ND; Lisa Ellefson, Park River, ND; Lara Ellefson, Park River, ND; Ryan Haroldson, Shakopee, MN; Jeff (Michelle) Haroldson, Excelsior, MN; Chad (Sheri) Haroldson, Sartell, MN; Tara (Kyle) Olson, Leonard, ND; Vanessa Ellefson, Theif River Falls, MN; Jared (Sarah) Wang, Nampa, ID; Jaime (Jeremy) Woinarowicz, Warren, MN; Jordan Wang, Grand Forks, ND; Brenton Magnusson, Mandan, ND; Noah Skavhaug, Grand Forks, ND; Spencer Skavhaug, Grand Forks, ND; Travis (Jennifer) Skavhaug, Ankorage, AK; Lindsey Skavhaug, Devils Lake, ND; and several great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and her brother Gerald (Bob) Nelson of Rapid City, SD. Doris was preceded in death by her son, both her parents, six brothers and two sisters.
Memorial services will be held on June 25, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Park River, ND. Visitation will be one hour prior at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at Memorial Park immediately following the service.
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