Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 26, at First Baptist Church, Rock Island. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Hodgson Funeral Home, Rock Island. Interment will follow the funeral service at Rock Island Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Rock Island, or the Listening Point Foundation, listeningpointfoundation.org. Online tributes and condolences may be expressed at hodgsonfuneralhome.com.
Barbara was born on April 2, 1926, in Hayward, Wis., the daughter of Soren and Mabel M. Peart Uhrenholdt. Barbara and her brother, Soren, were part of a close-knit group of cousins and extended family whose roots remain at the Uhrenholdt farmstead in nearby Seeley. She was a niece of the well-known author, conservationist and advocate for the protection of wilderness, Sigurd F. Olson.
During World War II, Barbara did her part for the war effort, working as a chemist in a munitions plant near Morris. After the war ended, she attended Illinois State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in education. It was there that she met her future husband, Bill. The couple were married on Dec. 30, 1947, in Morris, and in 1948, moved to the Quad-Cities because of her husband's employment in the news department of WHBF-TV/radio.
Barbara taught school for 35 years at Denkmann elementary school in Rock Island. She was very fond of the youngsters, as they were of her. Barbara also was very active in the community, having been elected to two terms on the school board in Rock Island and volunteering her services to Friends of the Rock Island Public Library, Rock Island Clean and Beautiful, Christian Family Care Center and a local battered women's shelter. She was active in the Retired Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma sorority and was a 50-year member of the First Baptist Church. Barbara lived at Steepmeadow Condominium for 20 years, where she enjoyed a very active social life, playing bridge and dominos. Barbara also traveled extensively through the U.S. and Europe with her friends. In her later years, she moved to the Chicago area to be closer to her family.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years, William G. Ellison. Those left to honor her memory include brother, Soren Uhrenholdt, Houston, Texas; children, Margaret (Bert) Tucker, Smyrna, Tenn., William D. (Dawnie) Ellison, Kansas City, Mo., Steven R. (Karen) Ellison, Elmwood Park, Ill., and Elizabeth (Ed) Boddy, Glen Ellyn; grandchildren, Andrea M. Tucker, Eric (Bonnie) Tucker, Kerry Ellison, John Ellison and Andrew Ellison; six stepgrandchildren, Mary Harris, Anne Werner, Ed Boddy Jr., David Boddy, Meg Schwanke and Sarah Nelson; sister-in-law, Barbara C. Ellison; daughter-in-law, Joy Ellison; many nieces and nephews; and seven great-grandchildren.