Ellen Dodds


October 31, 1975 - April 11, 2018


Ellen Lenore Dodds, 42, of St. Paul, Minnesota, died suddenly Wednesday, April 11, in her home. 

Visitation will be from 5-7 PM Wednesday, April 18, at the White Lake United Methodist/Presbyterian Church with a prayer service at 7:00 PM. The funeral will be at 2:00 PM Thursday, April 19, at the United Methodist/Presbyterian Church in White Lake.  Burial will be in the White Lake Cemetery.  Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Ellen Lenore Dodds was born October 31, 1975, in Parkston, SD, to William "Bill" and Linda (Larson) Dodds. She graduated from White Lake High School in 1994 and attended Iowa State University in Ames, IA, where she acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics. She then was employed as a clinical dietician at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk, Nebraska, for three years. In 2003 she moved to St. Paul, MN. While there she obtained her master's degree in Scientific and Technical Communications from the University of Minnesota and worked with a variety of health-related research studies at the university, first as a research assistant for three plus years and then as a research coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health for eleven years. Ellen was a beloved employee who was respected and admired by her colleagues. She was instrumental in the success of numerous research projects that involved promoting the health of communities in under-served populations.

Ellen was a passionate Christian who was highly involved in Woodland Hills Church where she volunteered in the youth ministry and served toddlers, pre-school, middle school, and high school youth.

She was a gifted musician, enjoyed reading, and valued physical fitness. Family and friends were very important to her. Ellen was a kind person with a big heart, and she will be greatly missed.

She was preceded in death by her father, Bill Dodds; grandparents Merle Dodds; Glenn and Clara (Dodds) Evans, and Harold and Vivian Larson. She is survived by her mother, Linda, White Lake, SD; brother, Brent (Shannan) and her beloved nephew and niece, Brock and Tori, Chaska, MN, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
7:00 PM Prayer Service

White Lake United Methodist/Presbyterian Church
110 E Deleyan
White Lake, SD 57383


Thursday, April 19, 2018
2:00 PM
White Lake United Methodist/Presbyterian Church
110 E Deleyan
White Lake, SD 57383


White Lake Cemetery
White Lake, SD

Posted by Javad Keyhani MD on April 26, 2018
I only knew Ellen a short time but I really enjoyed being around her. She coordinated our research project at the Medical School. We will be presenting it at the Society for the Teachers of Family Medicine Conference and we will be dedicating the presetation to her.
Posted by Kristin Warzenski on April 25, 2018
I had the pleasure of working with Ellen at Phalen. She would always stop by my desk and chat, we had many laughs. I will miss her friendly smile and the way she lights up a room when she enters it. Such a kind and amazing soul. You will be missed. May strength be with all who knew her.
Posted by Craig Gorman on April 24, 2018
Ellen was extremely intelligent and fun to be around. My daughter loved hanging with her, too. she and I always had great conversations and laughed at mutual observations (especially when people watching). That's all I'll say, except I will miss her and regret not getting that cup of coffee sooner. I'm heartbroken for her friends, coworkers and of course her family.
Posted by Rocheller Riles on April 19, 2018
I posted This message on my Facebook along with Ellen's picture --This awesome lady here is named Ellen. Ellen was taken back to haven earlier this week. I have been attending woodland hills church for about 15 years and one day I decided to volunteer for the summer. It was then about 5-6 years ago when I met Ellen. She said to me"you would be a great fit here at heroes gate" (heroes gate is where you volunteer to watch kids so their parents can enjoy worship). I didn't think so at first, but she persuaded me. I have been volunteering there ever since. It was nice to have someone push me towards God and its even better knowing that before her life ended, she was meant to meet me. So I love you Ellen and keep on soaring!
Posted by Ni Ora Hokes on April 19, 2018
I had the blessed opportunity to share an office and work along side (almost daily) with Ellen during my one-year research project at the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic; she was part of the interview team that hired me. Ellen was a great Navigator. She always had a warm and caring presence and was also my "sounding board" to assist in developing the research project. Needless to say, Ellen's Home Going, seems so sudden to each of us but her life was in God's plan. There is an old saying, "It's not how you lived but how you will be remembered!" So, I will have fond memories of Ellen. My prayers of comfort to her family, friends, and loved ones who will miss her physical presence. Enjoy the memories of her Love that she shared!
Posted by Brenda Kirpach on April 19, 2018
I too had the pleasure to know Ellen through her research work. Her smile and patient manner made working with her on large projects a joy! She was dedicated to work and friends and will be missed by all who knew her. I wish you peace in the days ahead and comfort in family and friends.
Posted by Christina Dobrovolny on April 19, 2018
Ellen and I met at Woodland Hills in the children's ministry and connected when we realized we worked together at the U. She was a kind and loving soul. I will miss her greatly. Prayers to you during this difficult time.
Posted by Mary Hearst on April 18, 2018
I knew Ellen when we worked on a research project together. Ellen was a lovely person and a valued colleague. My heart goes out to all. I have wonderful memories of Ellen in Scotland, at a conference. Such a wonderful time. Peace.
Posted by Tanner Nissly on April 18, 2018
As a member of the DFM, I have known Ellen for almost 10 years. For the last 9 months, Ellen and I shared an office for the two days per week she was a Broadway Family Medicine. Professionally Ellen was impeccable. She was skilled, organized, and driven. It is difficult to find people who do their job as well as Ellen.
She was also a good friend. One of the few people I could talk to about Iowa State Cyclone athletics who had any interest. She told me her father used to talk to her about the Cyclones, so she liked that I did. Sometimes I would come in the office real fast from the hallway, and it would scare her and she would jump and give a little yip. It wasn't on purpose, and it made us both laugh. I started to make noise before I came in, so I wouldn't startle her.
Two weeks ago I left for spring break with my family. As usual, I said goodbye to Ellen, and teased her that she would miss me because I would be out of the office for awhile. I remember that moment quite clearly, because it was the last time I saw her. I miss her, and will for a long time. Peace to her family. I hope there is some comfort in knowing how loved she was.
Posted by Jill Jerabek on April 18, 2018
It is so lovely to read through these beautiful tributes for one of the most authentic and loving friends I have ever had. I keep replaying in my head all the long, late into the night talks we shared on everything from food to Jesus to relationships to how to be a more loving presence. There are too many blessings to count from the life you lived, dearest Ellen. I am honored I had the privilege of journeying with you so deeply, growing our own lives and the Kingdom. I miss you and look forward to our reunion one day. Linda, Brent, Shannan, Brock, and Tori, may you feel God’s arms of comfort and peace as you grieve. My love and prayers are with you.
Posted by Jerica Berge on April 18, 2018
I worked closely with Ellen and benefited from her kindness, knowledge, and creativity on a daily basis! There was nothing she couldn't figure out when it came to knowing how to get a study through IRB, or in creating a database for data collection in RedCap. She was the go-to person for so many people. Even more importantly she was the go-to person for empathy and true friendship. She helped me through a tough time when I had a partial thyroidectomy...because she had one too and could relate even to the point of sharing doctors information and how-to's for surviving the biopsy and surgery recover. She really let you into her world and would do whatever it took to hep you out. I miss her!!
Posted by Charles Rogers, PhD on April 18, 2018
Even though I was not afforded the opportunity to get to know you well Ellen, we always met in passing with a smile and the comments from others demonstrate your warm spirit and invaluable contributions to our department and the lives of others. To the family, may the wisdom written in John 14: 1-4 and Romans 8:35-39 comfort you as you celebrate the life of your dear Ellen. God bless & bless God.

-The Rogers Family
Posted by Qi Wang on April 18, 2018
Ellen was such a kind and thoughtful colleague to work with. It was truly a pleasure to work with her on a research project at the U of MN for over 4 years. She will be in our hearts and memories. My deep condolences go out to her family.
Posted by Renee Peters on April 18, 2018
So very sad, my heart goes out to u Linda and Brent, thoughts and prayers sent your way,
Posted by Talisha on April 18, 2018
Oh Dear Ellen, I am honored that I got a chance to work with you! When you asked how we are doing, and if you could help with anything, you really meant it! You had such a quiet strength- a boldness coupled with grace. You will be missed! May the God of all comfort, comfort Ellen's family in this time!
Posted by Lori peters on April 17, 2018
So sorry to hear Linda!! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family!!
Posted by Jayne Dodds on April 17, 2018
I will always remember visiting White Lake in the summer with our kids Tommy and Katie (Joe Dodds- Bill’s brother, Ellen’s uncle). Ellen and Brent would come over to play with the kids, and Tommy and Katie loved it. They would make them laugh, and Ellen read Grandma Clara’s books to them. It was so very special and we will miss not having more time to spend with Ellen. Thoughts and prayers are with you Linda and Brent. We will always remember her with love.
Posted by George Surratt on April 17, 2018
She is missed. She was loved, respected, and always there to lend an ear. She is missed.
Posted by Jane Mehlhaff on April 17, 2018
So very sorry for your loss. God bless you during this difficult time.
Posted by Sabrina Singer-Towns on April 17, 2018
Ellen was a dear friend of mine. We became instant friends when we met and we’ve had so much fun over the years. Ellen is the most kindest, compassionate and selfless person I’ve ever met. I miss her so much already. My prayers are with you as you grieve this tremendous loss.
Posted by Deb kirsch on April 17, 2018
Our thoughts & prayers are with you. Tears can heal, memories comfort & love lives on forever!
Posted by Alan LaFave on April 17, 2018
Linda and Brent; I’m so very sorry to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Posted by Heather Dodds on April 17, 2018
What joy it brings me to read all of Ellen’s friends and colleagues posts. As a cousin of hers that holds on to memories of her as a child and teenager it brings tears to my eyes to know that you all, too, saw and appreciated her humor, her intelligence, her friendship, but especially her sweet and kind nature to all. Our loss is heaven’s gain.
Posted by Valarie George on April 17, 2018
So deeply sorry for your sudden loss...may the hooe of heaven where she now calls home will fill you peace and hope for your blesses reunion one day.
Posted by Jacque Dodds Gilbert on April 17, 2018
Such a sweet soul! RIL, darling girl!
Posted by Steve & Kari Gales Family on April 17, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!! We are so sorry for your loss!!
Posted by Jean Jansen on April 17, 2018
Ellen was a great asset to the research department at Phalen Village Clinic/Department of Family Medicine. I remember her as a kind and caring person. We spent many hours just chatting about our careers, life and our future.. She will be missed by all. My prayers are with her family through this difficult time. God Bless!
Posted by Chris Hoefer on April 17, 2018
Ellen was special. Her laugh and her wit made it obvious that she was in on the joke. Her talent and her intelligence made it obvious that she was willing to learn. Her compassion and her spirit made it obvious that she understood what mattered.
I got to know Ellen during long days of gathering data for research projects when we had nothing but down time to chat. We talked about our families and our friends and how to improve the world. She was so open and connected that she was easy to get to know quickly. Over the years, she was such a huge support, coming to every single show I was in, always showing nothing but love. Ellen touched a lot of people in the best of ways and I considered her a dear friend. She will be missed but never forgotten.
Posted by Cathy Strobel-Ayres on April 17, 2018
Ellen was such a kind and compassionate soul. I only recently began working with her in our Family Medicine Department, but in that short time I came to respect her friendship, intelligence, passion, and strong work ethic. She tackled challenging situations with grace, skill and determination. As serious as she was about her work, she was also very funny and able to find humor in the absurdities we sometimes faced. I am going to miss joking and laughing with her - we are all going to miss her as our co-worker and friend. She was one of a kind in the best possible way.
Posted by Amy Shanafelt on April 17, 2018
Ellen and I worked very closely together on a research project that brought us on many long road trips in rural MN. We connected on those trips, about our life paths, our passions and our dreams for the future. She has always been the most conscientious and caring colleague, and lifted me up when I wasn't sure of myself. I will miss her very much, and will always hold a place in my heart for the many wonderful conversations and adventures we experienced.
Posted by Katie Loth on April 17, 2018
I was lucky to have the chance to work with Ellen in the DFMCH; she was one of the first people to welcome me into my new position when I started and I enjoyed getting to know her over the past three years. Ellen was kind, funny, smart, and always willing to help you talk through a problem or issue related a research study. Whenever I had a quick question about something going on with one of my projects - I knew that Ellen would know that answer and she was the first person I turned to. She will be missed as a friend and as a colleague - my heart goes out to her mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. My thoughts are with the family, please know that we all truly cherished our time with Ellen.
Posted by Rebekah Pratt on April 17, 2018
Ellen was a wonderful friend and colleague, who had such kindness, sensitivity, intelligence and humor. I admired how she stood up for what was right. I will miss her dearly, as will so many of us here at the University. So many colleagues held her in such high and warm regard. Our thoughts are with all her family and friends.
Posted by Michele Allen on April 17, 2018
Ellen was a treasured colleague here in the Department of Family Medicine at the U of MN. She was widely admired for her integrity, work ethic, and commitment to the Department's success. We will all greatly miss her. Our deepest condolences go out to her family.
Posted by Laura Miller MD on April 17, 2018
I worked with Ellen at Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, through the U of MN. She and I collaborated on a number of projects...rather - she gently and kindly nudged me to follow through on our projects. She was such a kind and thoughtful person to work with, always with an easy smile and calm demeanor. She made every project seem do-able, which is an incredible feat. She will be dearly missed personally and professionally by me. My thoughts are with you, her loving family. May you find peace during this challenging time.
Posted by Sherryl. Nelson Ferguson on April 16, 2018
Linda, I am so sorry and saddened to hear of Ellen’s death. Love and prayers.
Posted by Angela Smithson on April 16, 2018
I enjoyed Ellen when she worked at our Phalen Village clinic. She always had a smile which cheered me on hard days. Her peaceful demeanor kept challenging projects moving! She will be dearly missed.
Posted by Mac Baird on April 16, 2018
Ellen was not only a highly skilled and disciplined professional but courageous in helping our DFMCH sort out some challenges we faced over a decade ago. I am saddened by your loss our our loss and hope all of you know how much she meant to me during my time as department chair and as a friend.
Our thoughts are with you all.
Posted by Denise Windenburg on April 16, 2018
Ellen was a kind, dear friend and colleague to many people here at the University of Minnesota. Her contributions to the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health have a wide reach and her memory will live on in our Department. My condolences and prayers go out to her Mom, brother and entire family.
Posted by Angie Buffington on April 16, 2018
Ellen was one of those special people who brings a smile to your face simply with her presence. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She was such an important part of our work team at the University of Minnesota. Peace and strength to her loving family.
Posted by Lea Seaquist on April 16, 2018
I will remember Ellen as the very special person she was, the blessings she brought to others and her kindness toward those less fortunate. I pray for comfort and strength to all who knew her.
Posted by Nancy Baker MD on April 16, 2018
Ellen was one of my colleagues in the Dept. of Family Medicine & Community Health at the University of MN. She was a consummate professional- warm, gracious and eager to help whenever asked. Peace be with you all.
Posted by Jim and Kim Hoffmann Lake Zurich, Illinois on April 15, 2018
Our hearts are saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you. May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time.
Posted by Ruth Altman on April 14, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with you Linda and Brent. My God Bless You
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