Gary Ellefson, 64, of Dell Rapids passed away suddenly on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. His funeral service will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 9, 2016 in the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids. Visitation on Friday, January 8, 2016 will begin at noon at Kahler Funeral Home with the family present from 5:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. On-Line Condolences may be left at Kahler Funeral Home.
Gary Leroy Ellefson was born on July 26, 1951 to Harvey and Mabel Ellefson. Gary attended Dell Rapids Public High School and was active in baseball, basketball, track and football. He earned several ribbons, medals, trophies, and varsity letters during his high school career. He graduated in 1970.
Gary loved the game of baseball. He was a pitcher for the Dell Rapids American Legion baseball team. It was common for him to be picked up by area baseball clubs during tournament time, which led to state championship titles. In 1970, the Cincinnati Reds drafted Gary as a right handed pitcher in the second phase of the winter draft. Gary refused to sign the contract and continued playing baseball locally. He attended his first and only major league baseball game at the Kansas City Royals in 2014.
Gary was drafted into the United States Army in 1971. He completed basic training at Fort Lewis, WA and received an Honorable Discharge in 1973.
Gary was employed by Buskerud Construction and Dells Materials for the last 36 years. Even at the time of his death, he was still employed part time. Gary enjoyed hunting, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events. He was easy going and well liked, always willing to visit and help anyone.
Gary died January 3, 2016 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls after a short battle with cancer. He was 64 years old at the time of his death. Gary was preceded in death by his father, Harvey Ellefson. He was a member of the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids.
Those left to cherish his memory are his fiancé and love of his life for the last 15 years, Cathy Frantzen; his mother, Mabel Ellefson of Dell Rapids; his sister, Cherlyn (Duane) Overvaag of Watertown; his daughter, Kelli (Mike) Baumberger of Colman; his sons, Matt Ellefson of Dell Rapids, Seth Ellefson of Sioux Falls and Eric (Louise) Halbleib of Kansas City; his grandchildren Olivia, Levi, Avery, Lucy, and Harvey; and many nieces and nephews.