Ellen M. Bartscher, 64
Blue Earth Ellen M. Bartscher was born on July 29, 1952 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to James and Donna Rayman. She was the third of 11 children and had four sisters and six brothers. She grew up on the family farm in Salem, South Dakota. Ellen attended school at St. Mary’s Catholic School through her junior year, and graduated high school in 1970 from Salem Public High School.
Ellen attended SDSU for two years and received an Associate’s Degree. She married Robert Bartscher in 1973. They had two children and followed Bob’s teaching career through Salem, Wells, Minnesota, Herreid, South Dakota, and Brookings, South Dakota, eventually taking root in Blue Earth, in 1984.
Ellen worked for the Blue Earth school district as a job coach for the Special Education department for many years. She enjoyed the relationships she made both with a variety of students and also the employers and employees of many local businesses.
In 1999, Ellen returned to college and completed a degree from Mankato State University in Computer Science. She was especially proud to be a non-traditional student in such a challenging field. In 2001 she was hired as an IT Specialist at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. It was a job she loved, working with wonderful people in a committed, Christian community of both Faculty and Staff. She continued enjoying her work until illness required her to leave.
Ellen passed away on July 31, 2016 from a prion-related illness. She will be remembered for her deep commitment to her husband, children, and grandchildren. She enjoyed playing cards with friends and family, doing crafts and projects with her grandchildren, learning new computer technologies, and binge-watching Netflix.
Ellen is survived by her husband, Bob Bartscher, of Blue Earth; daughter, Sara (Aaron) Gudahl, of Fairmont; son, John Bartscher, of Nashville, Tennessee; and her grandchildren Emma, Carys and Cooper Gudahl, of Fairmont. She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Donna Rayman, and by her brother, Bob Rayman, all of Salem.
Services are private, but the family requests that memorials be given to UHD Hospice in Blue Earth and/or Lutz Wing Nursing Home in Fairmont.