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November 21, 1940 – January 3, 2023

Ellen May Paul, age 82, of St. Paul, died peacefully in her Highland Park home, Tuesday morning, January 3, 2023.

Born on November 21, 1940 in Dennison, Minnesota, Ellen was the daughter of Fulton and Vera (Fremouw) Elstad.

She graduated from Faribault High School.  While working in Minneapolis, she met Kenneth F. Paul of Eden Valley.  They married on September 16, 1961 and eventually made their home in Norwood Young America.  They have five children:  Elizabeth, Jennifer, William, Jane and Nathan.

While caring for her children, Ellen worked with Ken at their funeral homes in  Norwood/Young America and in Lester Prairie.   After selling their funeral homes

they called Buffalo, Minnesota home for a number of years.  Ellen eventually relocated to Highland Park in Saint Paul.

She was a master gardener and loved spending time with Nathan, grandkids and great-grandkids in her beautiful gardens.  She enjoyed reading, writing poetry, painting and listening to music.  More than anything, Ellen delighted in being a mom, a nana and a great nana.  She was a devoted sister, auntie and friend.  Ellen was generous with her time and talents to all who came across her path.

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Paul of Buffalo; their children:  Elizabeth Joan Paul of Lake Elmo, Jennifer (Nick) Mancini of Bayport, William Paul of Minnetonka, Jane (Shawn) Engle of Highlands Ranch, CO and Nathan Paul of Highland Park; grandchildren: Kit and Andrew Haveles, Louisa Resner and Adam Riley, Ryan Paul, Darby McMullen Brown, Vera McMullen Paul, Thomas Mitchell, Grant Mitchell, Claire and Hannah Crain, Will Engle, Maddy Engle, and Lucy Engle; great-grandchildren:  Graham and Solvi Haveles.  She is also survived by her siblings Geraldine (Hank) Dotzler of Lakeville, Richard (Diane) Elstad of Wabasha, Virginia Sartor of Faribault, Kathryn (David) Wagner of Tower, Jane Elstad of Waterville, Jean Woznak of Medford, and Laurel (Keith) Remund of Waseca; brother-in-law Bruce Neale of Denver CO; sisters-in-law:  Janette Elstad of Warsaw, Elaine Elstad of Cannon Falls and Linda Elstad of Burnsville; many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; mother-in-law and father-in-law Mildred and Frank Paul; siblings Marilyn Neale, Joyce Waslie, Robert Elstad and Carmen Elstad; sisters-in-law Alice Elstad and Margaret Elstad; and brother-in-law Bill Sartor.

Mass of Christian Burial for Ellen Paul will be held Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at 11:00 AM at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo, MN.  Interment will follow at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery.    Father Nathaniel Meyers will be the Celebrant.

Visitation will be held at the church, Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

Suggested donations in lieu of flowers are to Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis or the MN Landscape Arboretum.

The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo MN assisted the family with funeral arrangements.  On-line condolences can be made at




16 Guestbook Entries

  1. Jeff Sartor

    I will always remember aunt Ellen as a kind gentle soul. A gem in our family. Love you all so much. Prayers and hugs to everyone.

  2. Mary Peters

    Ken & Nathan, My condolences.

  3. John and Cheryl Sundman

    Ellen was a great friend, and excellent employee. She loved her family and friends. Her loving spirit will be missed by all who knew her. I pray for comfort and strength for the family during this time of sorrow and loss.
    God bless the memory of Ellen.

  4. Bruce Waslie

    Aunt Ellen was an amazing person and her love of life touched us all. Rest in peace and say hi to Joyce.

  5. Lovgren family

    We lived next door to Ellen for the past 10 years. Our daughter absolutely adored Ellen. Ellen was always sure to give her special gifts and treats around the holidays. She was one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met and she will be greatly missed.

  6. Enrique Toussaint

    Please accept my deepest condolences for Elizabeth and her whole family. All my love and prayers.
    Enrique Toussaint

  7. Kris Paul Yoder

    Aunt Ellen was such a kind and gentle soul. She will be missed. My sympathy to my Uncle Ken and my cousins and their families.

  8. Leanne

    Your family is a special one and your mother will be sorely missed by many. I have so many fond memories of Ellen while growing up in the NYA and my friendship with Jane. Wishing you all peace and comfort as you grieve and honor her memory.

    I will be making a contribution to the MN Arboretum in her memoriam.

    Much love,
    Leanne (Pouliot) Kunze
    Waconia, MN

  9. Dale Bjorklund

    Ken & Family, very sorry for your loss. Ken , you always were so nice to mom & dad! They cherished your friendship. Thoughts & Prayers to you & your family.
    With deep sympathy, Dale Bjorklund

  10. Susan Sartor

    Ellen was a kind, thoughtful and beautiful person. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  11. Mary MacDowell

    Ellen was my very dearest friend for more than 50 years. She was so kind, compassionate, generous, had a terrific sense of humor and a wonderful way with words – I treasure her letters. I am so very grateful to have had her in my life and am devastated that she’s gone. My sympathy to all her family. She loved you all dearly and I know you will feel her loss deeply, as I do.


    What a great family to be a part of a choir in Heaven with many talents to explore forever

  13. Michael Waslie

    A great family to be a part of and what a choir in Heaven with an eternity to know each other and their talents

  14. Joy Stieve

    So sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Joy Stieve

    So sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers!

  16. Kathleen Kanne

    I was so heartbroken to hear about Ellen’s passing – I was just getting to know her over the last two years through our Cannon City History project work. She had so much knowledge of the area and was such an asset to us. A life well-lived! My prayers are with everyone grieving her loss.


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