Official Obituary of

Clarence Albert Ellsworth

September 10, 1937 ~ February 20, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Clarence Ellsworth Obituary

Clarence entered into rest on the 20th of February, 2024. His cremated ashes will be taken to Chaffee County where he longed to be.

A beloved husband to the love of his life Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Defenbaugh, Clarence and Elizabeth were united in marriage in November of 1959 in Denver. To this union was born, Tammy Marie, Jennifer Lynne, and Kevin Wayne. Clarence was preceded in death by his son Kevin in June of 2001. Clarence also leaves behind two grandchildren, Aaron Joseph and Jeanine Elizabeth.

Clarence was born in 1937 to Lee James Ellsworth and Hazel Johanna Carrie Roll in Salida, Colorado where he grew up with his brother Henry and three sisters Dorothy, LaVonne, and Clara. In 1955, Clarence graduated from South High School in Denver, Colorado. Clarence worked for Montgomery Wards for 19 years managing the display department until he became a master cabinet builder creating furniture and fixtures for a variety of businesses. Clarence spent his life in the Denver area but always returned home to Salida to visit.

Clarence and Elizabeth were members of the Candlelighters Organization after their son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia (ALL). He was instrumental in renovating the main floor kitchen to establish the first Ronald McDonald House in Denver. He also volunteered his time and talents assisting a variety of organizations doing trail maintenance, or packing out an old plane crash. As a retiree he and Betty volunteered their time and talents at three National Wildlife Refuges in Texas, Montana and Wyoming. After 2002, he used his talents to build furniture for friends and family as well as spend time with his grandchildren and travel to South Park and San Luis Valley.

Clarence loved to read, particularly accounts of American westward expansion during the 19th century and historical explorations around the world. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman having been taught by his grandfather. He happily shared these skills and the love of the outdoors with his children and grandchildren. He also loved to learn about the culture and history of indigenous peoples and was deeply honored when approached on one occasion to construct a ‘spirit feather’ box as well as a cradle for the granddaughter of a local spiritual leader.

Clarence was the kind of person who was there to lend a hand to neighbors, friends, family, and a stranger in need.

A celebration of Clarence’s life will take place in June, 2024

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