Sonia Ellsworth, 44

Published 10:50 am Monday, February 18, 2013

It is will great sadness the family of Sonia Ellsworth, 44, announces her death due to breast cancer. She died at 7:50 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, at Seasons Hospice House.

Ellsworth Sonia

Ellsworth Sonia

Sonia was born at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., on May 7, 1968, to Loren and Carol Nelson (Lockwood). As a youth, Sonia (Nelson) was involved with the “NW Notables” 4-H club and won several ribbons in the Olmsted County and State Fair. She graduated from John Marshall High School in 1986 and attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for her bachelor’s in Education. On July 20, 1991, she married her high school sweetheart, Duane (Dewey) Ellsworth. They lived in Rochester their entire married life. She was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church as a youth and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church since 1991. In 1997, she achieved her master’s degree in education from the U of M. Life changed when she was informed she had an aggressive breast cancer in January 2006.

Sonia worked for the Rochester Public Schools since January 1991. She taught earth science at John Adams Junior High from 1991-1994; physical science at Mayo High School from 1994-1998; and physical science, computer image processing, and physics at Century High School from 1998-September 2011. In November 2009 she was awarded the Post-Bulletin Teacher of the Month. She was an active member of the Minnesota Science Teacher Association. Sonia made a difference for thousands of young people through education.

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Sonia loved mystery books, baking, camping, traveling to beautiful places in the world and spending time with her children and extended family.

The family expresses thanks to the following people and organizations: Dr. Goetz, Dr. Uhm, Dee Smith, NP, the nurses and staff on Gonda 10, Mayo Hospice, and Seasons Hospice. Also, “thank you” to those that have provided meals, help with laundry, driving, shoveling and those who participated in benefit drives for Sonia and her family.

Survivors include two children, Jonathan (15) and Stephanie (12); husband Duane (Dewey) (employed at Mayo Clinic); brothers Barry Nelson of Winona, Minn., and Bryce Nelson of Milwaukee, Wis.; and parents, Loren and Carol Nelson of Rochester. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joy, Alpha, and Elizabeth Nelson of Adams, Minn., and Charles and Evelyn Lockwood or Grand Meadow, Minn.

Visitation will be in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, 1105 12th St. SE, Rochester, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, from 4 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. The funeral for Sonia will be on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 559 20th St. SW, Rochester, with Pastor Ann Siverling presiding. Burial will follow the service at Oakwood East Cemetery, Rochester. Memorials are preferred to go toward a college fund for her two children. Macken Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences are welcome at