Ellen Leora Backstrom passed away peacefully on February 10th at the age of 88. She is survived by her two sons and their wives, Scott (Kathy) Backstrom of Kelso, and Mark (Shelly) Backstrom of Longview, four grandchildren: Lane, Travis, Brady and Dawnell, along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Don, brother, Chester, and three older sisters - Clara, Ethel, and Alice.
Ellen was born in North Dakota and moved to Washington at age 4, when her family settled in south Kelso. She attended Kelso High School and married Don, her neighborhood sweetheart, the day after her high school graduation in 1952. They built a home in Kelso where they remained throughout their nearly 68 years together. Ellen took pride in her beautifully manicured yard and her home was always ready to host family and friends for any occasion.
Don and Ellen were lifelong members of Kelso Christian Assembly, and strong supporters of the ministry there. Ellen was involved in women’s ministry, Tri-Chi, hospitality, nursery, and also served in the Sunday School office for many years. Actively involved for over 80 years, she built many dear friendships there and modeled a life of faith for her family, friends and neighbors.
Ellen was employed at Longview Fibre for almost 40 years where she worked in multiple locations including the bag plant, stereo and storeroom. She also served as shop steward for the employees.
Ellen enjoyed cooking, gardening, canning, quilting, and crochet. Caring for her flowers and spending time working outdoors were her favorites. Though not one to travel far, she was always active and working on a project or task to make the house a home for her family. She loved being outside, especially on warm summer days, and the family often joked about her ability to sunbathe longer than anyone else. Spending afternoons on the family sailboat was another well-loved past-time.
She and Don were consistent supporters of their grandkids – attending many sports games, school plays, and concerts. She hosted family holidays, and ‘grandkids only’ parties with great joy. She could be relied on to play a game, work on a puzzle, create delicious meals, and engage in fun conversations. Ellen’s spunky sense of humor and love of a good laugh continued to shine through in her later years.
’The family would like to thank Brittainy, her in-home caregiver, and the team at the Somerset, where she most recently resided. Their kindness and consistent care for Ellen brought her joy and provided her family peace of mind in her final years.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of her life at Kelso Christian Assembly, at 1:30pm on Friday, Feb. 25th. Dahl-McVicker Funeral Home of Kelso, WA is caring for the family and hosting viewing times on Thursday, Feb. 24th from 10am to 5pm, and Friday morning the 25th from 9am – 11am. Memorial gifts can be made in support of the local and global ministries of Kelso Christian Assembly, 403 Academy.