D. Ellen Marlatt Skold

Honored by:Karen SkoldTow
Brick location:G:28  map

Mother always was a liberated woman. She lived by these values and taught me by her example of love, friendship, service to others, tolerance, patience, education, self-reliance, conviction, and courage.

Dorothy Ellen Marlatt Skold was born November 26, 1917 at Newark, Nebraska, the second of six children of Dorothy A. Christensen and William-F. Marlatt. In 1918, the family moved to a farm in northeastern Colorado where Ellen grew up valuing her family, faith, education, music, hard work, and the ability to succeed. It was there, too, that she first met James C. Wilson and began a lifelong friendship with the composer of "The Bells of Iowa State."

When Ellen was eight years old, Jim Wilson moved to a farm near her parents and asked her father to teach him how to farm. For the next two years, Jim was a frequent guest in their home until he left in 1927 to motorcycle across Africa with his friend Francis Flood. After crossing the African continent, Jim was married, taught three years at Iowa State College, composed "The Bells of Iowa State," and began a national lecture tour.

In 1934, after Ellen had graduated from Haxtun High School, Jim Wilson returned to Colorado with his wife, Alice, and two young sons. Jim and Alice invited Ellen to travel with them for the next year to care for their children while they did lecture programs. Thus, at age 17, Ellen traveled throughout the United States with the Wilsons, meeting celebrities and visiting cities from coast to coast. Their friendship continued; and in recent years, the Wilsons often stayed in Ellen's home in Ames during their trips to the Iowa State campus.

From 1936 to 1940, Ellen worked her way through Colorado A&M College, now Colorado State University, graduating in 1940. She taught home economics until she married my father, Bernard H. Skold, who was graduated from Colorado State University in 1942.

During the war years, while the military transferred them frequently, Ellen taught whatever subjects were needed in high schools in Colorado and California. After I was born in 1945, she devoted her career to homemaking and supporting my father's career moving 13 times in 15 years, including three years in post-war Germany and France, and several years in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

A resident of Ames, Iowa, since 1960, my mother has always been devoted to her family and committed to volunteer service. Now 77 years young, she still is active in her church, in P.E.O. and in the local chapters of T.T.T. and Questers, which she has served as president. She also has chaired the Home Economics and Heritage divisions of the Iowa State University Faculty Women's Club and sponsored the ISU chapter of Veterinary Student Wives.

Mother has been my mentor and friend, always encouraging me to succeed. She deserves a place in the Plaza of Heroines for her lifetime of helping others and creating joy for her family and friends.

Submitted by Karen Skold Tow ‘67

Submitted on 7/1/96