Mother, Arlene Rhea Mummert Ellis, said her final, “Bye for now”, as she passed from this earthly life to her eternal home on June 18, 2017.
On October 23, 1920, Mother was born on a farm outside of East Berlin, PA. Inspite of knowing much heartache growing up, Mother held onto the happy memories of her childhood. She knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior all of her life and her child-like faith was a source of comfort and encouragement to her as well as all those she influenced.
After losing both of her parents, it became necessary for Mother to support herself in her teens as a live-in nanny. In her early twenties she went to live with an aunt and uncle in Florida where she worked in both a millenary shop and hotel coffee shop At this time she met her future husband, George Ellis. They married December 3, 1944 while he was home on leave from serving in New Guinea with the Army. Prior to their marriage, Mother worked as “Rosie the Riveter” in Baltimore. They had their first three children (Marjorie, George, Jr., and Sharon) while living in Ocala and then moved to Gainesville, FL where their youngest son (Tom) was born. After renting in town for four years, they bought a home in the Idylwild neighborhood on SW 19th Street where Mother resided for fifty years.
Mother was the center of our extended family. She was the “Energizer Bunny” who kept a meticulous home, loved flower gardening, and feeding and caring for her family and others. Her joy, love of life and the beauty of creation, along with her kindness, servant’s heart, gentle ways, dancing eyes and smile, will always be appreciated and remembered. During her fifty-four years in Gainesville, Mother was a member of the First Baptist Church where she was active in her Sunday School class and Missions group. She was a long time member of the Gainesville Garden Club Daisy Circle. Mother was also an active member of the Gainesville Women’s Club. She supported many charitable organizations with the Florida Baptist Children’s Home being the most dear to her heart.
July of 2007, Mother moved to Seaford, VA to reside with her daughter Sharon and her family (George; Emily, Christine and David Altmann). Being the people-person Mother is known and loved for, she quickly made friends and adjusted to her new surroundings. While the move wasn’t without difficulties, Mother was always determined that happiness is a state of mind and not dependent upon circumstances. She counted her blessings daily! She was blessed to be part of the Granny Girls with her dear friends Nancy Tando and Marilyn Davidson. Their friendship was priceless!
In early November, 2015 (shortly after her 95th birthday) Mother began receiving care from Riverside Hospice. Her nurses, Heather Trombley and Dannielle Wellbrock , along with her aide, Sherinna Hammon, were excellent care-givers and kind, loving friends. Velvet Young joined our family in February 2016 for the purpose of coming along side of us to give Mother the best care we could possibly provide. In time, we realized that more assistance was needed and Cindy Rowe pitched in to lighten our load. We are eternally grateful for all of the love and care that has been given to Mother and our family.
Mother was preceded in death by her loving husband of forty-five years, George L. Ellis, Sr. (1919-1989); her first born child, Marjorie Kinnan Ellis Etheridge (1946-1971); her parents, Jacob Peter Mummert (6/29/1895 – 2/6/1935) and Velma Rhea Walker Mummert (4/22/1901-12/27/1924); and two brothers: Merle Jacob Mummert (1/28/22 – 4/10/1924), Francis Ulee (Frank) Mummert (10/30/23 – 2/26/2001); and one sister, Lavern Florence Mummert (12/27/1924 – died at birth). She also mourned the loss of a dear niece and nephew as well as a great-niece and great-nephew.
Mother leaves behind her dearly loved sister (in-law), Janet Mummert; three living children: George L. Ellis, Jr., and his wife, Audrey Alterman Ellis; Tom Ellis, and his wife, Janis Williams Ellis; and me, Sharon R. Ellis Altmann and my husband, George D. Altmann. Mother’s twelve grandchildren were the apple of her eye: Mary Katherine Etheridge Brabham and her husband, Charles Brabham; Betty Kinnan Etheridge Rolling and her husband Chuck Rolling; Stacy M. Ellis Thomas and her husband Rodney (Bow); Amber N. Ellis; Jamme P. Ellis Kendall and her husband James Dale Kendall; James (Bo) Latham Ellis; Emily R. Altmann Doskey and her husband, Gaelan Doskey; Christine S. Altmann; David N. Altmann; Gregory A. Ellis; Brian D. Ellis; and Lauren B. Ellis. Also, Mother’s pride and joy were her fourteen great-grandchildren: Katelyn Rolling; Kathryn Elizabeth Brabham; Lauren Brabham; Quinton Rolling; Ashlyn Rolling; Madison Brabham; Avery Kendall; Jordan Thomas; Rhys Kendall; Gabriel Doskey; Alexander Doskey; Bailey Grace Thomas; Mariana (Molly) Doskey; and William Doskey. Mother also leaves behind a few cousins and many nieces and nephews and their children. I am afraid I do not know all of their names but Mother did and loved them dearly.
The funeral service will be Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 10:00 am at the First Lutheran Church, 1801 NW 5th Avenue,Gainesville, FL 32603, under the direction of Milan Funeral Home, Gainesville, FL (Milamfh.com)
We are grateful for Armory Funeral Home in Grafton, VA for their services to us. Mother’s memorial service in Virginia will be planned for a later date with the information forth coming at amoryfuneralhome.com.
During Mother’s childhood, she spent two years in a Pennsylvania Baptist Children Home. In honor of Mother donations may be made to the Florida Baptist Children’s Home, PO Box 8190, Lakeland, FL 33802; Children@FBCHomes.org