Augusta Ellsworth was born October 16, 1913 in Columbia, SC, the daughter of Samuel Victor McDonald and Margaret Mae Jones, the eldest sibling of six. She passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes on February 10, 2021 at the age of 107. At the age of five, she and her family contracted and survived the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. She attended Logan, Wardlaw, and Columbia High schools. She enrolled at the University of South Carolina in 1931 where she was a member of the freshman baseball team and the field hockey team.
She played the banjo and accordion in the Damecocks, the only all-female orchestra in the south in the early 1930s. The depression interrupted her college education. When she returned to school after the depression, she enrolled at Columbia College because she wanted to teach, receiving her music degree in 1936. Columbia College reports that at the time of her death, she was the oldest living alumna.
Her first teaching position was in Whitmire where she met her future husband, Reverend Raymond R. Ellsworth, a Lutheran Minister. While in Whitmire she was the district music director and director of chorales and glee clubs. She was her husband’s true partner in their church work, at various times directing the choirs, singing solos, playing the organ, teaching voice and piano, and bringing a high level of professionalism to the music programs of their churches in Union, Whitmire, Batesburg and Florence, SC. When her husband became chronically ill in 1953, he was forced into early retirement. Soon thereafter, Mrs. Ellsworth resumed her teaching career and brought her husband and two young sons to Columbia. She taught sixth-grade students at Crayton Elementary School for 26 years before her retirement. While at Clayton, she received numerous awards for her excellence in teaching.
She has been a faithful member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church for 68 years. She sang in the choir and has been a member of the Elizabeth Circle at Ebenezer Church. In the teaching profession she was a member of Pi and Fidelis Beta Chapters of Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK).
At the age of 104, Mrs. Ellsworth moved to Lowman Home in 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, siblings, and daughter-in-law, Gelene Duncan Ellsworth. She is survived by her sons, Dr. John R. Ellsworth (Mary Dozier) of Lexington and Carl A. Ellsworth (Caroline) of Columbia; four grandchildren, Ryan M. Ellsworth, Lindsay Ellsworth Sadler (Jamie), Ashleigh Ellsworth-Keller (David), and CMDR Carl A. Ellsworth, Jr. (Kristen); two step-grandchildren, Huston Bokinsky and Graham Bokinsky (Ramsay); and 5 great-grandchildren and 4 step-great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held on February 25, 2021, 11:30 a.m., at Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia. The service will follow Covid-19 protocols and will be livestreamed on Dunbar Funeral Home – Devine’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DunbarDevine Memorials may be made to: Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1301 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201, or Columbia College, 1301 Columbia College Drive, Columbia, SC 29203, or to a charity of one’s choice.