Scott Edward (Ed) Ellsworth was born at home in Eagle Grove, Iowa, son of Scott M. and Ruth N. (Pletcher) Ellsworth, on June 25, 1923. He was baptized in the First Baptist Church in Eagle Grove. Growing up he worked in the shop of his father's car dealership. In high school, he was an over-the-road driver, transporting cars from Detroit.
On the football field, he earned the nickname "Blitz" as backfield runner and kicker. He played with some notable teammates: Warren Wilson became a well-known Iowa game warden in Boone; Bob Siddens and Bill Nelson became Iowa Wrestling Hall of Famers. These friends would meet for many years for fall pheasant hunting. Ed was EGHS Class of 1941.
Pearl Harbor saw Ed join the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne division—one of the toughest units in the European theatre. The 82nd jumped in the dark morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, behind enemy lines in support of Allied forces landing on the beaches of Normandy, France. September 17 the 82nd parachuted into Holland, 50 miles behind enemy lines, part of Operation Market Garden. Some may remember the book (or movie) A Bridge Too Far. December 17, they were called up from refitting in France, literally overnight and without winter uniforms, to defend against the German breakthrough at the Battle of the Bulge. In foxholes, they endured bitter winter temperatures and deep snow. The 82nd were justly proud to have never given ground to the enemy.
After VE Day the unit was stationed to Frankfurt. Their exemplary record saw them named Eisenhower's Honor Guard. There was time for recreation now. He played on the 508's European league undefeated Champion football team.
Returning home December 31, 1945, Ed went to work the next day. In the spring, May 4, 1946, he married Elsie Norma (Boot) Derscheid, a hometown girl and member of the Homecoming Court.
He joined the fundraising effort to build the Memorial Hall to honor the men and women who died and served in wartime. Built in 1951, it serves now as a community center located in the city's Central Park. Later Ed gifted a building on main street to the local VFW.
Ed encouraged everyone to get involved in local government and politics. He served on City Council, was active in Party politics, and proudly worked hard to see neighbor Mary Louise Smith made chair of the Republican Party National Committee. She was the first woman to hold such a high position in the national political arena.
As President and CEO, Ed grew the family-owned Ellsworth Freight Lines. Truck routes and offices ranged from Minnesota to Texas to the east coast, running up to 300 semis. He was first in the Midwest to change from ice-cooled trailers to refrigerated. His pension plan, in place before it was common, became a model for others. Just as Ed parachuted as invasion spearhead in Normandy, it was said he was at the forefront of innovation, a man ahead of his time. He was always looking for a better product or creating a better way of doing things.
The business was sold in 1987. Ed and Boot travelled and spent winters in Arizona and visiting friends.
Ed died Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at the age of 93. He was a life-long resident of Eagle Grove. Ed is survived by three daughters: Dianne Ellsworth, Eagle Grove; Barbara Forbes, Murray; Peggy (Larry) Hill, Eagle Grove; grandchildren: Joshua Harrington (Jennifer), Dallas Center; Amber Severin (Brian Steil), Johnston; great grandchildren: Alexis and Calen Harrington; MaKenna and Morgan Severin; step grandchildren: Jason (Vanessa) Hill, Arizona; Sally (Gary) Lalor, Eagle Grove; step great grandchildren: Carson, Reid and Macie Lalor; sister Lois Adams, Minnesota; brother Ray (Ruth) Ellsworth, Indiana; sister Pat Coleman, Pennsylvania; sister Eldene (Don) Mericle, Eagle Grove; sister-in-law Terry Ellsworth, New Jersey; sister-in-law Marge Ellsworth, Indiana.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, brother Jim, brother Richard and infant son David.
[Source: Foust Funeral Home, Eagle Grove, IA