Lillian Ellis – 1937-2013
Lillian Ellis of Rangeley passed away in the early hours of January 2, 2013 at her winter residence of Panama City, Fla., with her husband, Paul at her side. Lillian was born to Louise and Alden Grant on June 8, 1937 in Freeport, and launched on a journey of excitement and an enjoyment of life that was the stuff of legend.
Although her life was tinged with such tragedies as the early death of her first husband, Kenneth Damon, she went on to build exciting careers in resort management, in the insurance industry, and eventually in real estate sales in and around Rangeley. She was one of the first female Rotarians in Rangeley and she helped to recruit many more. All the while she raised her three children, Helen Mary, Kenneth Jr., and Cate with an abundance of love and a deep appreciation of their gifts and talents. She would certainly rank them at the very top of a long list of achievements.
She was a gifted singer with a soaring soprano voice that seemed much bigger than the small body that housed it, and a talented actress who devoted much time and effort to the Rangeley Friends of the Arts. She was an incomparable spinner of stories, which more often than not proved to be true, even though they were often improbable. She had a deep and abiding love of fine literature; and she was a gourmet cook, feeding huge numbers of friends and family members seemingly without effort. Above all, she was endearingly, wonderfully funny.
On June 6, 1992, she married Paul Ellis, of Rangeley, and began the happiest years of her life. In the course of a loving marriage they built a magnificent home together on the shore of Rangeley Lake, entertaining extensively and leading an active and productive life within their community and church. Their blended families were a source of great joy and satisfaction to Lillian, perpetuating the closeness that she experienced with her parents and siblings.
She leaves behind three siblings, Alden and his spouse Jane, Hilda, and Bill and his spouse Barbara; three children and their spouses, Helen and Dennis, Kenneth and Alyson, and Cate and Sam; three step-children, Val and her spouse Jeffrey, Pam, and Rob; and 13 grandchildren, Laura, Stephanie, Ben, Nate, Sam, Ivan, Bethany, Connor, Athena, Caroline, Aaron, Molly, and Kenneth.
She endured a lingering illness with determination and an unyielding courage, never allowing it to hold her back; she and Paul traveled extensively and wrested the maximum of enjoyment out of the time allowed them.
Family and friends are welcome to participate in a Celebration of her life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, from the Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Rangeley, followed by a reception in the church undercroft.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rangeley Friends of the Arts at www.mainearts.net/rfa/rangeley- friends-of-the-arts-donations/; or by check payable to the Rangeley Friends of the Arts, P.O. Box 333, Rangeley, ME 04970. Cremation and memorial services are being provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center of Farmington. Condolences and tributes may be shared on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.