Stella “Jean” Ellenwood

Posted in

November 7, 1946 - March 29, 2017

One of Sheridan’s most radiant lights, Stella “Jean” (Bentzen) Ellenwood was
reunited with her husband in heaven on March 29, 2017 at the age of 70.
Jean graced this world with her presence on November 7, 1946. She was born
in Sheridan, Wyoming to Richard Jean Bentzen and Vivian Gail (Laub) Bentzen and was
the proud little sister of Marilee. She graduated from Sheridan High School in 1965.
She attended the University of Wyoming where she majored in Music.
After College Jean toured for one year with one of the first groups of Up With
People. She spent time in the United States and four months in Scandinavia. In her
diary she tells about singing duets and sitting on the bus with her friend, Glenn Close,
whom she lovingly referred to as, “Glenny.”
Jean married the love of her life, Kenneth Lloyd Ellenwood, after his mother had
asked Jean if she would write to Ken while he was in the army. He came home on
leave and they had their first date. Jean fondly shared how she and her mother stood
in the window and giggled at the sight of this six foot four cowboy unfolding himself
out of his Volkswagon Bug. They were joined in marriage at the First Baptist Church in
Sheridan on February 23, 1969.
Jean’s first job was at Hershes Cafe as a bus girl but she was soon promoted to
cook (big surprise). She worked at a donut shop, as a “Night Mother,” at the Girl
School, as a teacher’s aide at Highland Park Elementary, and at Sheridan Stationery
Book Store ,but the job she was most proud of was taking care of her beloved Ken.
Jean was a member of First Baptist Church and Chapter T PEO. She enjoyed
singing, acting, crafts, decorating, reading, ping pong, pickle ball, and traveling. Her
trips with the “Bluebirds,” brought out a more wild side in Jean where she was know to
travel across large cities in her pajamas, zip line, and parasail.
She has been described by a friend as, “The Queen of England meets Erma
Bombeck. She would come to a lunch date impeccably dressed and soon start telling a
silly story, crossing her eyes and making hilarious faces.”
Jean will be remembered for her funny antics on stage, her beautiful singing
voice, and her love of people. She touched so many lives because of her kindness and
willingness to help those she came in contact with, but her smile and her laughter will
be missed most of all.
Jean leaves behind her daughter Nicky (Kevin) Legerski and grandson Ashton,
daughter Janell (Justin) Hulford and grandchildren Kendra, Brandi, Kenneth, and
Bowen. Her sister Marilee Myers of Lake City, FL and numerous cousins, nieces and
Special thanks to Denver International Airport, the loving staff at The University
of Colorado Hospital, and all the generous people who have so graciously supported
us during this time.
A Celebration of Jean’s life will be held at First Baptist Church in Sheridan,
Wyoming, April 8, 2017 at 4:00p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Wyoming M.S.
Society or to the First Baptist Church Building fund at 3179 Big Horn Ave. Sheridan,
Wyoming 82801.
Online condolences may be written at
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.