Mt. Pleasant marine laid to rest in Lansing

Gita Pullapilly

Created: 11/20/2004 2:32:14 PM
Updated: 11/20/2004 3:29:58 PM

Lansing - Family and friends mourned the death
of Michigan marine Lance Corporal Justin Ellsworth.
Last Sunday, his sister was sitting in her bedroom when she saw a van pull up. She saw two marines walk up to her door and that's when she knew her brother had died.

Thousands gathered at Mount Hope Church in Lansing to pay their last respects to Ellsworth. "He always had a smile on his face, always had a kind word he always would be the first one to run across the room and give you a bear hug," says Mark Dible, Ellsworth's uncle.

Justin joined the marines a year ago as a combat engineer. "He was always telling us not to worry. He'll be missed," says Mark O'Donnell, Ellsworth's uncle who is a police officer in Lansing.

Ellsworth was trained in explosives but he lived to help other people. "War means death and Justin wasn't one to sit on the sidelines and let someone else do it. If there was a ugly job to do he would volunteer and would be out front," said Dible.

So on November 13th, Ellsworth volunteered to go with 7 other marines into Fallujah before A big assault. He knocked on doors warning Iraqi families to leave the area and as he went door to door, he helped track down roadside boms left as traps for U.S. soldiers. But the one bomb he didn't see killed him and 4 other marines.

"We all believe he is in a better place now and we believe we'll be together again," said O'Donnell.

A memorial fund has been set up for Justin at National City Bank. For more information, call (248)624-2251.

Last modified date and time: 01/17/2005 8:46