Max Earl Ellis, 85, Park Rapids

Published 1:21 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Max Earl Ellis, 85, of Park Rapids, Minn., passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids.

Max E. Ellis

Max was born on Aug. 29, 1927, in Centerville, Iowa, to Clarence and Nellie (Passell) Ellis. At the age of 1, Max moved with his parents to the Austin, Minn., area. He attended country school in the Red Rock Township. Max grew up learning the value of good hard work while working long days on his parent’s livestock and crop farm. At the age of 15, Max gained employment working for Hormel in Austin. At 16, Max ventured to Portland, Ore., where he worked in the ship yards during World War II. While in Portland, Max bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle which he motored up and down the coast.

Max returned to Minnesota in 1944 and resumed his career with the Hormel Company. On Jan. 31, 1947, Max was united in marriage to Arvilla Marie Hanson. This union was blessed with five children: Rosemary, Ronald, Carl, Sandra and Todd. During the 36 years he invested in Hormel, he also owned and operated a concrete company. In 1959, Max purchased a farm west of Lyle, Minn., where he dairy farmed. Max enjoyed working with his sons and caring for his livestock and raising the crops needed for his stock. In 1981, they sold the farm and moved to a home on Straight Lake near Osage.

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Max and Arvilla made their home on the lake until the early 2000s, when they moved to Park Rapids. Max’s life was forever changed by the death of his wife in 2005. Max loved the great outdoors and especially enjoyed hunting antelope and mule deer in Wyoming and Montana. He also made many pheasant hunting trips into Iowa. Throughout his lifetime, Max enjoyed fishing the Park Rapids area and the Canadian waters. In his spare time, Max enjoyed repairing small engines and doing wood carvings. He was a long time member of the Grace Community Church in Osage, the Osage Lions, the Osage Sportsmans Club and the Park Rapids Eagles Aerie No. 879.

He will be lovingly remembered by his children, Rosemary Shutt of Austin, Ronald (Lonna) of Lyle, Carl (Linda) Ellis of Lyle, Sandy (Marvin) Haara of Hutchinson, Minn., and Todd (Tammy) of Cherry, Minn.; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Marjorie Cullen of Little Canada, Minn.

Max was preceded in death by his wife, Arvilla in 2005; his parents; five brothers and four sisters.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at Grace Community Church in Osage, Minn. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Grace Community Church in Osage and for one hour prior to the service on Saturday. Interment will be held at the Riverside Cemetery in Osage. To leave online condolences, please visit