Helen Lucille Thompson Ellis, 103, passed away at her home on May 1, 2021, and is celebrating in heaven.
Helen was born to Lola Mae Gildow Thompson and Ross Glen Thompson on November 28, 1917 at their home near Jamesport, Missouri. Ross was a farmer and Lola had taught school before becoming a mother.
As a child, Helen attended Prairie Center School, a one room schoolhouse a few miles from home, to which she sometimes rode a pony and sent it home after she arrived. She graduated from Trenton, MO High School in 1935 and completed college prep courses. Storms, drought, and grasshoppers wiped out crops shortly afterward, however, so she completed 2 years of business school in Kansas City, MO, was awarded an Associate Degree, and began her first job as a bookkeeper for the Methodist Book Concern for $10 per week.
A brave woman, Helen later went to California, where she worked for the American Fruit Growers Exchange for a time. Unhappy with the job, she applied to the War Department in Washington, D.C., where she was appointed to a position as junior clerk stenographer. She met her husband, Jarrad C. Ellis in Washington and they were married in 1941. Their son, Allan was born in 1942, and Helen soon left the War Department to be a full-time wife and mother. The couple’s second son, Ronald, was born in 1947. In 1952, they moved to rural VA, where Helen taught Typing, Bookkeeping and General Business at Stafford High School. In 1957, the family moved to the Richmond, VA area, where Helen began her employment as an Executive Secretary for Robertshaw Controls Corporation. Eventually the couple became empty-nesters and had a house built on a lake in Powhatan, VA. They moved in to their new home in 1971, and Helen then commuted to Robertshaw from Powhatan until retiring after 22 years of service.
Helen was an active member of the YMCA, the Order of the Eastern Star, and Powhatan United Methodist Church. Her interests were swimming, traveling the US and Europe, photography, writing, and gaining friends everywhere she went.
Surviving are her son Allan J. Ellis, daughter-in-law Lucinda J. Ellis, grandsons Daniel J. Ellis (Jodi) and William C. Ellis (Kim Burton), and step-great grandchildren Tyler Sprigg (Erin) and Wiley French. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Jarrad, of 31 years, her brother Ross G. Thompson, Jr and her son, Ronald L. Ellis.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Greater Richmond YMCA, 2 West Franklin St. Richmond, VA 23220.
Burial at Masonic Cemetery, Jamesport, MO entrusted to the care and direction of Stith Funeral Home in Jamesport. (660) 684-6133. Online guestbook at www.stithfamilyfunerals.com