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Obituary: ELLEFSEN, KATHLEEN

Kathleen Youngdell EllefsenAug. 29, 1935 ~ June 3, 2013Kathleen Youngdell Ellefsen, whose style, grace, exemplary work ethic and lifelong dedication to family endeared her to three generations, passed away peacefully at age 77 on June 3, 2013, after a valiant three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer.Kathy was born Aug. 29, 1935, in West Jordan, Utah, to Katherine Lucille and Donald LeRoy Youngdell. She graduated from Jordan High School in 1953. Kathy married the love of her life, Donald Howard Ellefsen, on Sept. 18, 1953, in Elko, Nev., and spent nearly 60 years together teaching, mentoring and raising seven children, 17 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. They renewed their marriage vows in 1959 at St. Ann's Catholic Church. For nearly eight decades, Kathy was an "Angel Among Us," serving family, friends and her church as a loyal parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Her commitment to family was legion, greeting every challenge with grace and a voice of love, reason and encouragement. Her commitment to her church was benevolent, quietly teaching by example while embracing a universal "Love Thy Neighbor" theme throughout her life. Kathy's penchant for organizing and planning annual family trips to Jackson, Wyo., the Grand Tetons and other destinations was legendary, which led to many unforgettable lifelong memories. Those trips included golf at prestigious courses, hikes to lakes, floating the Snake River, and dining at her favorite restaurants Stiegler's, the Blue Lion, Teton Pines Country Club and many others. Kathy personified class and style in every aspect of her life. She and her sisters, Patricia and Michael, readily displayed their fashion style during stints in the annual Pioneer Day parades in Salt Lake County. Kathy continued her passion for fashion throughout her life. As a department manager and buyer for the ZCMI Cameo Room, she took great pride in remembering every customer's name, which translated into numerous awards. She attained the coveted "Silver Club" status for ZCMI associates who had more than $100,000 in annual apparel sales. She also earned several "Employee of the Month" accolades while working as a department manager in ZCMI Better Sports and part-time with Paletti.A master seamstress, Kathy's ultimate sewing project was a beaded wedding gown that rivaled the finest dresses from Saks Fifth Avenue. She was also renowned for her culinary/cooking expertise. Every culinary delight was created from scratch, carrying on the traditions of her mother and grandmother by preparing German heritage specialties of apple streudel, roulade and spatzles.Kathy and Don were longtime members of the Cottonwood Country Club and loyal parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, where they served in many volunteer positions and supported numerous charitable endeavors. Kathy is survived by her husband, Don; children Terri (Allen) Swain, Gary (Mary Stewart) Ellefsen; Lisa (Randy) King, Joni (Kurt) Konschot, Suzanne (Michael) Wahls, Kathryn (Rick) Wretberg, Eric (Deaine) Ellefsen, 17 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; and sister Gayla Patricia (Joseph) McCollin. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Harold Joseph Sullivan, and sister, Michael Sullivan Johnson. Visitation and Vigil will be Thursday, June 6, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 4760 S. State St., Murray, UT. Funeral Mass Friday, June 7, 11 a.m. at St. Vincent Catholic Church, 1375 E. Spring Lane, Holladay. Interment will be at Murray City Cemetery. The family wishes to thank Sally and Nicole for their wonderful care of mom at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.