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Malcolm Ellingson

Malcolm (Mac) Berg Ellingson (aka Moki Mac) Born December 12, 1905 in McGrath, Alberta, Canada to Berg and Mary Ellingson, Mac was the oldest of six children. His mother died when he was 14 years old. His father then married Eva Sorensen and they had 6 children making a total of twelve children in the family. (9 boys and 3 girls). At the time of the second marriage Eva was only 19 years old. By the time he was fifteen years old he left home and went to live with various relatives around the general area of southern Alberta. He was basically out on his own from the time he was 16 years old. His education ended after the 8th grade, and he supported himself from then on. He worked at a variety of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled types of labor the rest of his life. His primary vocation was that of a machinist. He was also gifted in several fields including electronics, automotive repair, and the great ability to tell stories. He could keep people spellbound with his tales, and no matter how streeeetched they were at times, his motto was that every story had to have a smidgen of truth in it. (And at times it was just a smidgen) Although his education was limited, he was an avid reader of subjects that interested him. His favorite subjects were history and especially that of the Indians of the southwest. He knew more of their lore, customs and traditions than most of them did themselves. Mac had a beautiful voice and sang for awhile in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He could play and sing with the guitar, banjo, or the ukulele. He entertained many people as he sang for any occasion, especially around the campfire. He worked at most anything he could find from mechanical, to electrical to automotive to whatever labor was available. While working in Calgary he met Boston Miles from Paradise, Utah who was visiting there with family. They got married in 1929, and were later sealed in the Cardston Temple. They eventually moved down to the United States to Boston’s hometown of Paradise, Utah where their only child (John) was born in August of 1931. They moved to Salt Lake City where there were better opportunities for employment. When they moved to Salt Lake City in 1932 the depression was on and employment was scarce. He worked for several years at anything he could find to sustain his family. This included anything from driving, digging ditches, and a stint with the WPA program. In the late 1930’s he went to work for the Silver King Mine in Park City, Utah until World War II started. When the war did break out Mac was just old enough to miss being drafted into the military, and he started working at the Remington Arms Plant in Salt Lake City where he was employed as a machinist. He worked there for a few years and then transferred to the Navy base at Clearfield, Utah where he worked until they closed it. He then transferred to Hill Air Force Base and worked there until he took a medical retirement because of the effect dust and climate had on his hay fever allergies which he suffered from most of his life. He subsequently went to work for the State of Utah Parks and Recreation Division as a park ranger. His first assignment was at Dead Horse Point State Park and then to Green River State Park where he worked until he retired. Sometime in 1942 he was made scoutmaster of Troop 58 in the Liberty Ward. Due to his creative ability to not only come up with new ideas, but ways to accomplish them and get them done, the lives of many young men were not only influenced, but also blessed. In his scouting activities he not only led the boys, but also succeeded in earning the rank of Eagle Scout himself. In 1952 he was awarded scoutings highest award of Silver Beaver. It was especially rewarding as on that same night President David O. McKay also was awarded his Silver Beaver. This work led to the love of his life, namely the river, its early explorers and the history of southeastern Utah and its early settlers and inhabitants. His love of this part of the country and the history and his desire to preserve it led to his nickname of Moki Mac by which most people knew him. His love of the river evolved into starting a river expedition and guide service called the Moki Mac River Expeditions. The sons of his partner, Al Quist, still have a thriving business under his name today. His river business and move to southeastern Utah resulted in the end of his marriage to Boston who remained in their home in Salt Lake City. In 1974 he met and married Elaine and they lived in Green River until the time of his death. Moki died in the fall of 1975 and is buried in Green River, Utah. He was loved by virtually everyone that knew him, and especially his family that includes: John and his wife Arlene, six (6) grandchildren and twenty (20) great grandchildren. Moki loved life and people and was always proud of his heritage and his family. Although not always active in the church, he had a testimony of it, and never failed to defend it or its principles.

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