Shannon (Nilles) Larson

26 May Shannon (Nilles) Larson

Posted at 17:19h
in Uncategorized
by staff

Shannon Lee Nilles was born October 20, 1959, to Clarence Jr. and Norrine (Bender) Nilles.  She passed from this life May 24, 2023. A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at Bismarck Funeral Home. A burial will take place at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery at 1:00 PM.

She was the oldest of five siblings including Mitchell (Kathy), Judith (Todd), James, and Michael (Kathy).

Shannon spent many of her early years in Almont, ND, with her grandparents, Clarence Sr. and Regina Nilles, whom she loved dearly.  She was known to be the ‘apple of Grandma Gina’s eye’!

Shannon was a member of the first graduating class of Century High School in 1978.  To be honest, a record number of tardies almost caused the diploma to slip through her fingers as that beautiful blue eye shadow of the 70’s had to be applied with an expert hand and took precious time!

Shortly after high school, she married Dennis Ell and they had three boys, Trevor, Tanner and Tyler.

Shannon was never one to shy away from hard work and took on a lot of different jobs in her life, many having to do with cleaning, something she took great pride in and truly made her happy.  Even though she may have griped about it, it gave her a sense of accomplishment, whether it was her home or a big office building. To take you back in time, a couple of her early jobs were at Village Inn Pancake House and Kings Food Host, later known as The Woodhouse, where Mitch was her chauffeur, to and from work.  She also worked at MedCenter Eye Clinic, which later became Eye Center of the Dakotas, for years.

Shannon married Dr. James Larson in 2003 and they were together for 17 years, until his death in 2019.  Over those years, Jim helped Shannon raise her youngest son, Parker, as his own.  Jim and Shannon shared a love of traveling, shopping and good wine.  They visited many countries including Germany, Mexico, Italy, France, Austria, many Caribbean Islands, NYC, Northwest United States and Jim’s family lake cabin in Northern MN.

Shortly after Jim’s death in August of 2019, Shannon unfortunately was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.   She fought the disease for three and a half years just like she lived her life; with a positive attitude, humor, grace and the courage to face whatever obstacles came her way.  But the disease became bigger than even she could handle. During one of the healthy times in her battle, she met Jim Elmquist and developed a very special relationship with him.  Of course, he couldn’t imagine what was ahead for their lives but he was by her side until the very end.

Jim, you were an integral part of her care and happiness through her hardest moments.  The family is so grateful for all you have done.  The love you showed her was obvious.  Thank you.

Also, a special thanks to the oncology staff at Sanford, Bismarck and Fargo, Roger Maris, Fargo, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN and a very special gratitude to Dr. Seth Maliske with whom Shannon had a very close bond.

It goes without saying that her best friend Lolly was her rock for many years preceding her illness and throughout the many hard days and nights Shannon endured.  Many thanks to you and your cot, your stories and laughter!

Preceding her in death were her grandparents Clarence Sr. and Regina (Timpe) Nilles, Clarence and Alma (Klinger) Gittel, her parents Clarence Nilles Jr. and Norrine Vogel, and her loving husband Jim Larson.

Shannon is survived by her children, Trevor (Candace) Ell, and their children Libby and Zoey, Tanner (Melissa) Ell, and their children Brenley and Oakley, Tyler (Kalene) Ell, and their children, Bentley and Bjerklie, and Parker and Liza Endersbe. She is also survived by her three stepdaughters, Kristin (Carsten) Gruber and their children Annika, Kira and Liam; Dr. Karin (Dr. Darren) Larson-Pollock and their children Madison and Andrew; and Kathrin Youngberg and her children Nik and Alek.

Also surviving her are her brothers and sister (listed above), her Uncle Darrel and Aunt Marian Nilles and their children, and her beloved dog Buddy.

Anyone who knew Shannon, knew she was as quirky and goofy as she was generous and big of heart.  She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside; a ‘blonde bombshell’!!  Although she didn’t quite make it to see her youngest, Parker, marry his love Liza this Memorial Day weekend, we know she is watching over all and smiling.

In lieu of flowers please send memorials to The Roger Maris Cancer Center or North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery at, 1825 46th Street in Mandan.

A livestream of the service will be on the funeral home website under Shannon’s obituary tab.

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