Ellis LaVoy


Ellis Marie LaVoy, 89, went home to her Lord on May 5, 2023, after receiving over two weeks of wonderful care from Dr. Will and others at Sanford Medical Center. She was the heart of her extended family, modeling her strong faith by serving her God, family and community.

Ellis was born to George and Mary (Bloxham) Huffman April 27, 1934, at Gray Eagle, MN, and was raised on a dairy farm South of Bemidji near South Lake Plantagenet. She attended Nary schools and graduated from Bemidji High School. As an only child, she grew up driving tractors, milking cows and anything else that was needed, continuing that strong work ethic throughout her life.

In 1953, Ellis married John Olson, who grew up on a nearby farm on the Schoolcraft and had just returned from the Korean Conflict. They made their home in Nymore, where Judy, Jeanne, John and Jeff were born and raised to appreciate the importance of family working and playing together, from helping on the Huffman farm to spending any free time outdoors - fishing, hunting, camping, and gardening. When John passed away from heart complications in 1979, Ellis continued to raise her family alone, working as an Avon lady, as a salesperson and later a buyer for O’Meara’s. After O’Meara’s closed, Ellis managed the Floral Department at Luekens, where she had a chance to make use of her lifelong love of gardening.

Ellis married Donald LaVoy in 1997, and together they were able to spend 22 retirement years focusing on family, travel, and their lovely home where they gardened together - Ellis with her flowers and Don with his vegetables - until Don’s death in 2019. During these years, many trips were taken to visit Alaska and Elk camp in Montana. The LaVoy home hosted many holiday and family occasions, where everyone was always welcome. Hardly a day went by that friends (and grandkids) weren’t stopping by for a visit, usually sent home with something baked or canned.

Throughout her adult life, Ellis was an active and devoted member of Calvary Lutheran Church, serving on nearly every Board and Committee, always available when help was needed.

Ellis is survived by: children, Judy (Bryan) Westerman, Jeanne (Scott) LaCoursiere, John (Mary) Olson, and Jeff (Kim) Olson; step-children Lori (Nate) Maring and Toni (Jeff) Quist; grandchildren and step-grandchildren, Allyson (Alex) Holte, Ashley (Titus) Brue, Andrew (Staci) LaCoursiere, Angela (Kris) Maggert, John (Kala) Olson, Michelle (Chris) Bliss, Alyson (Eric) Swanson, Annalise Aakhus, and Caliyah, Ceyonna and Celisha Olson, Seth (Liz) Olson, Jordyn Olson, Trevor Maring, Jenna Butzow and; great-grandchildren Brecken, Isaiah and Weston Holte, Bo and Webb Brue, Maggie and Mason Smith, Keaton Maggert, Alex, Andrew and Adam Olson, Sean, Kaitlin and Meara Hardt. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husbands.

The family requests that any memorials be directed to Calvary Lutheran Church.

A celebration of life will be held at Calvary Lutheran on Friday, May 12th, at 11:00 a.m., followed by lunch and a graveside internment at Calvary Cemetery in Nymore. Condolences may be left at

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