Ellen Jean Skatrud-Mickelson, born Sept. 27, 1952, was baptized and “put on Christ” early in life as an infant. Then December 26th, 2018, like Apostle John in Revelations 5, she experienced ‘a new heaven and earth’ after 66 years of age; experience and ministry, dying at home with the assistance of Cornerstone Hospice. Memorial gifts will be given through Hope Lutheran Church to the ELCA Refugee Resettlement Fund and Wartburg Theological Seminary. A memorial service was held at Hope Lutheran, The Villages, Fla., on Feb. 18, 2019.
Ellen Skatrud was born in 1952 at Lackland Air Force base hospital. She graduated from Sanderson High school in Raleigh, N.C. Next, she briefly attended an all girls school, Meredith College, in her hometown before transferring to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she graduated. Ellen next enrolled in Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, where she graduated. Her second year was her Internship in Greendale, Wis., and then moving to the Denver House of Studies in Colo., where she met her husband, Paul Mickelson of 41 years. Rev. Paul Skatrud-Mickelson is her survivor along with her mother, Irma Skatrud and brother, Mark Skatrud ‘77 (Wash.). She is also survived by her two children; Joel of Salt Lake City, and Monica Bergquist of Clancy, Mont. She was blessed with two grandchildren, Inga and Greta Bergquist (Mont.).
Ellen and Paul Skatrud-Mickelson married Aug. 6, 1977, in Ames, Iowa. She then took a year off seminary education to live with Paul during his Internship at a three point parish in Baudette, Minn., on the Canadian border. Ellen was the first woman preacher that many people encountered in northern Minnesota in 1977-78. Then, Paul and Ellen both entered their senior year at Wartburg seminary. Their son, Joel, was born during finals week of the fall semester, arriving on Paul’s preaching day for the seminary community, on Dec. 22, 1978. After graduating in May of 1979, Paul still needed a Clinical Pastoral Education so they went back to Denver for the summer where ‘little Joel’ fell in love with the mountains. While awaiting a first call, Rev. P and E (as they were later called) served a three point parish in Bird City, Kan. Their first call as co-pastors was to a two point parish in Midland, S.D. (Trinity and Deep Creek Lutheran). While still in Midland, daughter Monica was born in Pierre, S.D., on May 20, 1981. Their second call as co-pastors was in Hartford, S.D. (near Sioux Falls) where Joel began school and graduated from West Central HS. Both Ellen and Paul also worked for more than 10 years at Sioux Valley Hospital as chaplains. Additionally, Ellen finished her Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) at Notre Dame Graduate Theological Foundation. Their third and last call transitioned Rev. P and E to Peace Lutheran Church in Billings, Mont. Ellen became a Hospice chaplain in Yellowstone County in addition to her other parish duties. Meanwhile, Joel enrolled and graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont., and Monica graduated from Billings West HS and the University of Montana, Missoula.
Co-pastors Ellen and Paul retired after 30 years of service in the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It was their joy to serve together in many and various ways It should be added that Pastor Ellen was nominated and elected to serve with 69 others on the Commission of the New Lutheran Church (CNLC). This group helped facilitate the ELCA from the three predecessor church bodies of the CNLC, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran (AELC), the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), and the American Lutheran Church (ALC).
Immediately after their co-pastoral retirement at Billings, Mont., they sold their house and travelled to Lake Gaston, N.C., where they spent almost a year helping her father transition to and through Hospice care at home. Ellen and Paul moved again in 2010, to their “Last Best Place” they could find to retire, The Villages, Fla., where they continued pastoral care through the ministry of Hope Lutheran Church. Together they enjoyed many sunny days of golfing, pickleball, swimming, and biking especially on their tandem.