Cover photo for Ellen Hilda Marie Gilder's Obituary
Ellen Hilda Marie Gilder Profile Photo
1926 Ellen 2022

Ellen Hilda Marie Gilder

July 25, 1926 — November 14, 2022

Ellen Gilder, age 96, of Long Prairie, formerly of Milaca, passed away Monday, November 14, 2022.  Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 11 AM at Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Prairie.  Interment will follow at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Little Falls.  Visitation will take place from 4 - 6 PM Monday at Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday

Ellen Hilda Marie Pullmann was born on July 25, 1926 to George and Hilda Pullmann in Fairfax, South Dakota. The seventh child of the family, she grew up as a pastor’s kid, along with her siblings, living her childhood at Wasau, NE. She graduated from high school in Creighton, NE in 1943. In 1947 she met the man she went on to marry in 1948, Harold James Gilder. She is survived by daughters, Margie Knudson and Lynell Blanchard (Dave) and sons, Dan Gilder (Lynnae), Tim Gilder (Jackie) and Leon Gilder (and former daughter-in-law Heidi) as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Gilder, sons, John Gilder (Linda), Ron Gilder (Andrea), and great-granddaughter, Grace Gilder, her parents, and all nine of her siblings and their spouses. 

Ellen was a very special person to many, touching the lives of countless people as she bore quiet witness to the power of her Savior, Jesus Christ. Virtually all who knew her were very aware of her faith, as she almost always spoke of how blessed she was. No matter how bad her circumstances were when asked how she was, her most common response was “I am so blessed.” Ellen did not merely see her glass as half full, but as overflowing. She was very active in her church and community, working tirelessly to make the world a better place. Many area children knew her as a Sunday school teacher, Vacation Bible School leader, and for neighborhood Halloween parties and her costuming ideas at kiddie parades during Milaca Days.

A rural Milaca resident for 54 years, she was widely known for her sewing skills, and hosted many a quilting session at the Gilder farm in Page township. Her youngest two would play beneath the quilting frame until the quilters reached the center, which caused their eviction. Ellen was also known for her love of driving, regularly taking friends and neighbors on trips across the country, or just across the county. She enjoyed baking, and many times her children got off the bus to tantalizing aromas wafting across the yard, which led to a race for the kitchen.  Her homemade doughnuts were always appreciated at fellowship time at St. Paul’s Lutheran church where she was a member for more than 50 years.  She worked a variety of different jobs in the Milaca area, from the local cheese producer to the Milaca Public Schools. She worked with her husband on a wide range of his avocations, from farming to timber harvesting, to helping at the cemetery. She loved music, playing the piano and singing until her vocal cords and lungs were damaged by anhydrous ammonia. After her time in the Milaca area, Ellen moved to Long Prairie where she lived with a daughter and her family for a number of years. In November of 2017, Ellen moved to an assisted living facility in Long Prairie.  In August of 2022, Ellen moved to an assisted living apartment administrated by a granddaughter in Big Lake, where she quickly became a favorite among the staff and residents alike. There were many in the Milaca and Long Prairie area touched by Ellen’s love and faith, with countless numbers of “grandchildren” who were not related to Ellen by blood, but by love.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 21, 2022

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home

260 Central Ave S, Milaca, MN 56353

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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