Augusta McDonald Ellsworth

October 16, 1913February 10, 2021

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 Crayton, 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: 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. Memories may be shared at


  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, February 25, 2021



Augusta McDonald Ellsworth

have a memory or condolence to add?

LeGrand Jones

February 26, 2021

Dear Carl,
Please accept my condolences on the your mother's passing. Although I did not know her personally, we probably breathed the same air at some point on the Crayton campus. What a well-connected community life she had! Be at peace with good memories of her and her musical influence embedded in your soul.

Bobbie Sox

February 26, 2021

What a remarkable woman. God gave her so many talents to share with others and her service to others is so evident in this write-up. How blessed the Ellsworth family are to have known such a wonderful woman. And for such a long time . Such a blessing to each of you. As God must have said to her, as He welcome her to her new home, "Well done My good and faithful servant".

Scott Hendrix

February 15, 2021

I came to know Mrs. Ellsworth when she arrived with her two sons at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in 1953. Her sons and I became good friends and I saw her every Sunday at the church and in later years at family events. She was a wonderful person but also a strong and devout woman who reared an admirable family. Not long ago I spoke on the telephone with Gussie, as many knew her, and she was so sharp, alert, and swift that I hardly got in a word. I admired her and am thankful that she was able to know and love such a remarkable family. To them, I offer my condolences. May she rest in peace.

Ronald Asbill

February 14, 2021

Carl , so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you . Ron Asbill

Linda Vincent Morgan

February 14, 2021

Carl, I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing...may God wrap His arms around you and your family, and bring you peace. Linda Vincent Morgan

Marion Brown

February 13, 2021

Carl I didn't know your mom very well, but at 107 years of age I may be the only person who didn't know her well. Reading her obituary confirms for me that she was every bit, and then some, the lady that you have always spoken of in such a loving way.
Borrowing from another, earlier post, we don't have to worry about your mom as she is "in the best of hands". And though I'm saddened for you and John, and the family, for the pain you must be feeling, I also know that your exceptional faith will serve you well and help you rejoice for her good fortune to be with her maker. She no doubt is already clearing a space for her beloved sons.
God rest her soul!

Betty Weed

February 13, 2021

To the entire Ellsworth family, I am so very sorry to learn of your loss. She sure did live a very long, full life. I know you are grateful that you had her in your lives for so long. My thoughts and deepest sympathy are with you.

Jimmie Mills

February 13, 2021

Dear Carl, your Mom was a wonderful person. I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family.

Wayne Earhardt

February 13, 2021

Carl and John, what a lady, what a life and what a legacy. By far, one of Gods most magnificent, kindest, generous, caring, faithful, gentle and loving creations. Your mom was the epitome of a truly Christian person. I am saddened for your loss and my condolences go out to you and your families. However, for your wonderful mother I am elated, happy and content because without an ounce of any doubt, I know she now is united again with your dad and other family members and will forever reign, live and be with God Almighty. She has accomplished the ultimate goal in life! May God be with you and give you peace and comfort.

Joni Brock

February 12, 2021

So sorry to hear of Ms Augusta's passing. She was a fellow C2 graduate and was always so well thought of at Columbia College.
May God hold your family in his loving arms to heal.