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Jean Mary Ellzey

August 2, 1927 October 5, 2020
Jean Mary Ellzey
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Obituary for Jean Mary Ellzey

Jean Mary Glarner Ellzey was born on August 2, 1927, in St. Paul, MN and was one of three children. At the age of 2 years, Jean and her parents, Doris Harrison Glarner and Milo Jacob Glarner, moved to Raymondville,Texas, where her father established a law practice and where Jean grew up. In 1944, Jean attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX, and transferred to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX, where she studied music education, serving as the Mortar Board President of the student body, and graduated in 1948, after which she taught music to young children. While at SMU she met her husband, Charles (Chuck) Homer Ellzey whom she married in 1949. Chuck and Jean had three children: Doris Jean (Dorie), Christine (Christi), and David Charles. While married, Jean lived in Illinois, New York City, and Texas, and returned to Illinois. During this time her husband completed his PhD serving in the United Methodist Church and teaching at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, while Jean supported her husband through school and raised their three children in Wilmette, IL After they moved to Naperville in 1971, at the age of 45, Jean attended graduate school at George Williams Community College, where she earned a degree in Counseling Psychology and graduated in 1975. Following graduation and her divorce in 1977, Jean worked as a teacher and a counselor for 15 years at Moraine Valley Community Valley College in Palos Hills, IL, and Dupage Community College in Glen Ellyn, IL, where she touched many lives through her course “Women in Transition” and was a counselor to many. She joined the DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church and sang in the choir. She retired in 1990 and in 2000 moved to Oak Park, IL, to be closer to her daughter, Dorie, son-in-law Marc Blesoff, and their three children. She joined Unity Temple and sang in the choir. In 2013, Jean moved to Brookdale Assisted Living Community, and in 2015 she moved to Norwood Crossing senior living community in Chicago, IL where she passed away peacefully on October 5, 2020 at the age of 93, surrounded by a wide circle of love and in the presence of family. We appreciate all those who provided programs, meals, friendship, exercise, music and nursing care to her in both locations. She lived a full life. Always curious, eager to connect with new and old friends alike, up-to-date with the news of the world, engaged in intellectual pursuits, loved to travel, always growing. She loved her family and found constant delight in knowing what was going on in everyone’s lives. In addition to raising her three children (and influencing her five grandchildren) to be creative, open-minded and concerned about the welfare of others, she loved the natural world. She was a devoted gardener who often soothingly coaxed her plants and personally thanked the birds for singing, and she adored trees and loved Morton Arboretum. She delighted in the colors of nature and often basked in the sun to “soak in Vitamin D” and become renewed. She had music in her bones. Singing to all of her kids, singing in church choirs, singing in musical programs including the last year of her life, she sang harmony and was always game to gather around a piano and sing favorites. She gave great full-body hugs and so many people described feeling fully accepted in her presence. She was a social justice advocate who continued to add causes to her list. She was a teacher in her career and in her life. She cherished life-long learning (just weeks ago saying "I'm still working on that”) and many have witnessed her joy in passing on her favorite sayings and life lessons and sure-fire ways to squeeze the juices out of being alive. She was preceded in death by her late sister, Carolyn Swanberg, and is survived by her sister, Kathryn Hemeyer, her three children Dorie Blesoff (Marc), Christine Ione, David Ellzey, and five grandchildren Jamine, Evan and Mara Blesoff, Courtney Rile (Mike Barletta) and Devon Rile (Kristen Buchan). She was proud to welcome two great grand-daughters, Athina and Wrynn, who knew her as “GGma.” She was loved by nieces and nephews Lance Swanberg (Jamie), Cindy Schwing (Larry), Marshall Swanberg (Kathleen), Gary Hemeyer (Christina), Suzanne Hemeyer, Bryan Hemeyer (Chelle) and many loving nieces and nephews-in-law. The family will hold a virtual “Circle of Love” on Sunday, Oct 25 at 12:30 ET/11:30 CT/10:30 Mountain/9:30 Western. If you are interested in details, email Info@davidellzey.com. There will also be a tribute in her memory set up at Morton Arboretum on a specially-selected tree. Donations are encouraged to any of these three of her favorite organizations: Heifer International at (heifer.org), or Doctors Without Borders at (doctorswithoutborders.org), or Union of Concerned Scientists at (ucsusa.org).

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Memorial Contribution

Heifer International

1 World Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72202

Doctors Without Borders

P.O. Box 5030
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030

Union of Concerned Scientists

2 Brattle Square
Cambridge, MA 02138-3780
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