The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Delores Elletson


February 14, 2017

May 17, 1927 – Jan. 5, 2017

Delores M. Elletson, 89, died Jan. 5, 2017 of heart failure.

She was born May 17, 1927, the fourth of five children, to Perry A. and Leda M. Elletson.

She spent her childhood at her parents’ farm in Cartwright, N.D.

She had many happy memories of visits from extended family and celebrating holidays with as many as 25 people sitting around the big round kitchen table. She enjoyed sharing stories of her life on the farm where the five siblings helped by working in the fields, canning their homegrown vegetables and chickens.

Since she was raised during the Depression era, the stories entertained friends and family alike. She loved school and often helped the teachers correct homework.

She was an avid reader and enjoyed playing cards from an early age. She went to high school in Fairview, Mont., graduating on her 17th birthday in 1944.

Her first job was at the County Agent/Farm Labor office at the courthouse in Sidney, Mont. There, in 1946, she met Stanley Tewes, who had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy. They were married six months later.

They had three children, Gregory, Anna and Jerry.

The Tewes family continued to live in Sidney, managing the El Ray Motel and Conoco station and body shop, all of which they owned. When their youngest son, Jerry, was just 6 weeks old, they moved to Delta, Colo. and bought and managed a motel.

In 1960, they moved to Fullerton, Calif., where Mr. Tewes was employed at Hughes Aircraft and Mrs. Elletson-Tewes at the Hunt Foods Corporate Office.

In 1961, they were divorced.

In 1965, she began working at McDonnell Douglas in the aerospace industry in Anaheim, Calif., in the Engineering Department, where engineers were designing the Apollo Space Lab for NASA.

She was honored to shake hands with three astronauts during their visit to the company.

In 1973, she married Richard Belyea, a management systems consultant with the Navy Shipyards in San Diego. With this union she became the stepmother of his four daughters, Linda, Barbara, Denice and Michele.

After relocating to San Diego, Calif. in 1977, Mrs. Elletson-Belyea began a career as an executive secretary with General Dynamics Electronics. She later received several promotions to salaried positions such as data manager, configuration manager and then to engineering administrative specialist. She retired in 1990.

During this period of her life, she volunteered at the local theaters as an usher and enjoyed free entertainment. Also, during her spare time, she trained and worked as a mediator for community disputes that were referred from the Small Claims Court. She and Mr. Belyea divorced in 1984.

In 1990, Mrs. Elletson returned to Sidney, Mont. to help care for her mother, who at 89 years old had suffered a severe stroke. Mrs. Elletson greatly enjoyed being with her family again as all four of her siblings were then residing in nearby areas.

In 2003, she embarked on a hobby artist career of creating paper collage artwork after learning the craft from her daughter Anna. In 2012, she relocated to Oregon to be near Anna.

Mrs. Elletson is survived by her three children, Greg Tewes of Dallas, Texas, Anna Tewes of Grand Junction, Colo., and Jerry and daughter-in-law Lisa Tewes of Reno, Nev.; Four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law Jeannine Elletson of Billings, Mont.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Perry Jr. Elletson and Glenn Elletson; sisters Sybil Ausk, and Lois McChesney; brothers-in-law Francis Ausk and Ernest McChesney; and sister-in-law Lillian Elletson.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Fir Lawn Lutheran Church in Sweet Home at 1 p.m. on March 18.


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