Obituary of Mary Richardson Ellis
Mary Washington Richardson Ellis, a resident of Brandon Oaks in Roanoke, VA, died peacefully at her home on December 8th, 2022.
She was born April 9, 1921 in Erin TN. Daughter of Zanie and Ewing Richardson and sister of Eugenia, Ewing, Thomas, and Robert Richardson, she grew up during the Great Depression on her family’s farm.
She attended Austin Peay (1941) and the University of Tennessee (1943) and then went to work for the Consolidated Vultee factory in San Diego, CA, where she was indispensable on the assembly line for B24s. After the war she continued her graduate education at the George Peabody College from which she graduated in 1946 with a degree in Library Science. She chose Charleston, WV to pursue her career as a reference librarian in the public library.
In 1949 she married Walt Ellis and became a mother and homemaker. She later moved with her husband and children to Alexandria, VA, where she was active in her community and a docent to Gunston Hall for 15 years. During these years she also pursued her interests in needlework, 17th and 18th c. history, architecture, and decorative arts as well as genealogical research.
The last 23 years of her life were spent at Brandon Oaks where she was well known and loved and to which she contributed her many talents.
She is survived by her children, Elizabeth, Meg (and husband Bill), and Bart (and wife Grace). She is also survived by six grandchildren (Katie, Sarah, Chris, Beth, Brad, and Amanda), twelve great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, who knew her as Grandma or Aunt Wash.
Her family cherish the memories of her sponsored family vacations to exotic locales but mostly to the family homes she provided in Alexandria and Fredericksburg, VA. She is remembered as a loving mother and grandmother and steadfast friend. Truly she was the matriarch of her family and one of the last of the greatest generation.