Beth Laurel Ellenby, 44, died Sat., May 24 in Banner Desert Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after a seven-month battle with cancer.
She was born July 22, 1963, to Jerome and Joan Reckdahl in Litchfield. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Atwater, graduated from Grove City High School, received a bachelor's degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, and earned a master's at the American School of International Management in Phoenix.
She ran the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, Canada, and then worked for IBM in Dallas, Tokyo, and Singapore.
She married Michael Ellenby in New Zealand on Jan. 1, 2000. They have a nine-year-old daughter, Jayde.
Beth was a skilled pianist and organist and a talented linguist, who spoke four languages. She loved cooking and hosting parties and blessed all those around her with her gracious and loving hospitality.
Devotion to her family was the number-one priority for her. She also volunteered in church and community activities and as a parent-helper at her daughter's elementary school, Desert Garden Montessori School.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Henry and Bertha (nee Duesterhoeft) Schramm of Glencoe, Nels and Agnes Reckdahl of Gaylord.
She is survived by her husband and daughter of Tempe, Ariz.; her parents in Grove City, Minn.; siblings Keith Reckdahl (and Becky Epstein) of Palo Alto, Calif., Katy Reckdahl of New Orleans, La.; Ben Bryant of Hollywood, Fla.; and Andrea (and Jim) Sweeney of Chanhassen; and numerous relatives and friends. They feel keenly a sense of loss but also gratitude for the gift of Beth's presence in their lives.
A memorial service for Beth will be held on Sun., June 1 at 2 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at church. She will be interred in the cemetery there.
Memorials in her name may be made to heifer.org, which helps to end hunger and poverty in Third World countries through sustainable gifts such as flocks of ducks, fish fingerlings, and cattle. In her travels throughout the world, Beth had seen how powerful gifts like this could be.