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Jack Cleland Ellsworth

December 5, 1922 - March 20, 2019

Jack Cleland Ellsworth, formerly of Milwaukee, WI, born December 5, 1922 in Mineral Point, WI to John Coker Ellsworth (Jack) and Gladys Cleland Ellsworth, died peacefully in his home in Natick, MA at the age of 96. He died surrounded by the love of friends and family. He is predeceased by his wife of nearly 70 years, M…read more

Jack Cleland Ellsworth, formerly of Milwaukee, WI, born December 5, 1922 in Mineral Point, WI to John Coker Ellsworth (Jack) and Gladys Cleland Ellsworth, died peacefully in his home in Natick, MA at the age of 96. He died surrounded by the love of friends and family. He is predeceased by his wife of nearly 70 years, Mary Louise Cutler Ellsworth (March 23, 2017) and survived by his children Jack Ellsworth (Linda), Bruce Ellsworth (Cole Burell), Brooke Ellsworth (John Smithson), Chris Ellsworth O’Crowley, and Gay Ellsworth Crowley (Gene). He was the proud grandfather of Corey and Carrie Ellsworth, Tim, Tyler, and Mary Lauren O’Crowley, Jack, Chris and Hannah Crowley, and great grandfather to Hudson O’Crowley.

Jack met his wife Mary while completing his studies in mechanical engineering at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. One evening, Jack arrived at a dorm room at Milwaukee Downer College to collect his date to a Marquette social. He was, however, greeted at the door by Mary who had the grim job of delivering the news that his date had stood him up. A natural salesman, Jack quickly convinced Mary to attend the social in his date’s stead. Nearly seventy years of marriage, 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and one great-grandson later, Jack would assert daily, “Boy, oh boy, I am a lucky man!”

Jack lived his life counting every little blessing, having known the hunger of the Great Depression, the fear of commanding LCT (Landing Craft Transfer) #778 onto Utah Beach on D-day during the Normandy Invasion, the vulnerability of raising five children while struggling to make ends meet, and the loneliness of losing his wife. Through it all, he persevered and lived with gratitude. These challenges informed his commitment to serving young adults through volunteerism with Indian Guides, YMCA, New Life of New York City, and Whitewater Cove/Black Mountain Home in Pisgah Forest, NC. His example is his legacy to his family and all those who came to know and love him.

In June of 1946, Jack was granted separation under honorable conditions from active duty in the US Navy as a 1st Lieutenant JG, having served in the European theater of WWII.  While active, he served as Second Officer LCT, Officer in Charge, LCT, 1st Lieutenant LST, and Executive Officer LST and received the Victory Ribbon WWII. His pride in his service during WWII was second only to his pride in the family he created upon his safe return.

Jack and Mary largely raised their family in the Midwest having lived in Edina, MN, Milwaukee, WI and Wauwatosa, WI among other towns. In September 1965, the family moved east to Chatham, NJ where they would settle in for more than 20 years and welcome their 5th child. Ultimately finding themselves empty nesters, the couple moved to Pisgah Forest, NC then on to Natick, MA where they could be closer to family in their retirement. As was their wish, Jack and Mary will return to Milwaukee, Wisconsin one last time to be buried together in the city where they met and married.

A private family burial service will be held in their honor later this spring at Forest Home Cemetery, where they will be laid to rest next to Mary’s parents. Anyone wishing to make a donation in Jack’s memory may do so by honoring our veterans through one of the following:

New England Center for Homeless Veterans (nechv.org)

Make checks payable to NECHV and mail to:

NECHV, 17 Court Street, Boston, MA 02108

The International Museum of World War II (museumofworldwarii.org)

Make checks payable as above and mail to:

The International Museum of World War II

Administrative Office

46 Eliot Street Natick, MA  01760

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Service Information

Memorial Information

New England Center for Homeless Veterans (nechv.org)

Make checks payable to NECHV and mail to:

NECHV, 17 Court Street, Boston, MA, 02108

The International Museum of World War II (museumofworldwarii.org)

Make checks payable as above and mail to:

The International Museum of World War II

Administrative Office

46 Eliot Street Natick, MA.  01760

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