Her children and grandchildren came to give her love.
We cried and hugged, laughed and remembered.
She heard us, our Mom, our Granny, our GiGi for three days of family din
That she always enjoyed, like a fly on the wall.
She quietly, with a sigh, flitted away to meet her beloved Johnny and family and friends
Who went before, to join their spirits in a dance ‘round the Maypole.
Mom was born in NYC to John MacEwan Ellis and Dorothy Lyles Corson October 29, 1920. Her best friend and sister Elizabeth (Liddy), brothers John and William spent much of their growing up in Red Bank, New Jersey. Elementary school was spent at Rumson (N.J.) Country Day School (’35), and high school at Miss Porter’s School (Farmington, Ct.) (’38), which at the time was considered a “finishing school.” Mom loved learning, was an excellent student, and as we discovered to our amazement on her 100th birthday, played softball as a kid. She was an avid thespian, acting and directing many a school play. She was also an excellent swimmer, and won a few contests – but only because, per Mom, her greatest rival was away on summer vacation for those particular meets. On a trip to Europe at the age of 14, her sister told a reporter Mom was going to England to swim the English Channel! It was published, but her grandfather remarked that he had no intention of rowing that far.
Mom met the love of her life, John Hare Powel, at a summer picnic. They each had the same sizzling reaction on seeing each other, as happens with 21 year olds, and were subsequently married in June, 1942. They lived initially in Cambridge, MA, while Dad finished his undergraduate degree before shipping out for North Atlantic convoy duty. John, Jr. ensued in summer 1943 while his father was at sea. Mom and Jake (as he is called) lived with her sister Liddy’s family in NYC. After the war, Dad, Mom and Jake were reunited and moved to Providence, RI where Dad worked for the Gorham Silver Company. Son Michael arrived in the fall of 1946.
Discharged from the Navy in Bremerton, Dad fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, so when his employer gave him the opportunity, he moved his family to Seattle. Here Dorothy (aka Babe) joined the family on her parents 6th wedding anniversary 1948, and then youngest son Jeffrey arrived in 1950.
In Seattle Mom became an active volunteer in numerous organizations, including the Junior League of Seattle, the Children’s Orthopedic Guild and the Sunset Club. Mom loved researching her genealogy, before the digital age and Ancestry.com mind you, as a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of Washington.
After the family moved to Bainbridge Island in 1954, Ann actively joined Saint Barnabas Episcopal church, serving on the Altar Guild for 60 years. Mom and Dad often hosted the church salmon bakes at their home. She was involved as a volunteer with Bloedel Preserve, Bainbridge Island Library, Bainbridge Island Land Trust, in addition to all her children’s and grandchildren’s fund raisers. She and Dad participated in a number of productions of the Bainbridge Light Opera now Bainbridge Performing Arts. Always the learner, Mom studied about and then tutored children who suffered from dyslexia. She was also an avid reader of mysteries, loved the PBS British mysteries, and was a crossword devotee, using pen instead of pencil! She was an amazing font of knowledge of shrubs and flowers, often regaling us with the Latin names of those planted around the property which was one of the stops in a Bainbridge Island Garden Club tour one year. She exclaimed happily that many of the bare spots in the gardens were instantly and beautifully filled in to enhance them for the tour.
At the age of 50 Mom became a business owner forming Lake Union Boat Repair and later the yacht brokerage Northern Marine Industries. She had loved watching over her own personal Boys Town of boat workers who affectionately referred to her as Tugboat Granny alias Boatyard Butchie. Dad loved testing the sails of boats she listed.
Mom’s doting husband died in 2005. After Daddy’s passing, Mom carried on and successfully completed many deferred maintenance projects he had begun on their place in Port Madison. In addition, with the leadership of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and several other entities, she volunteered her property for the first private land shoreline restoration project on the Island – a three year project removing armoring and establishing riparian buffers on more than 1,500 lineal feet of shoreline habitat.
After a fall four years ago, Mom was pretty much confined to her bed or chair, not one to follow through with physical therapy, but preferring to enjoy life going on around her and the many people who would come to visit. Being the last of so many of her peers was hard, but she remained cheery, witty, and always enjoyed listening to other’s stories and doings. We are grateful to the Visiting Angels who were so caring and loving of our mother and the Hospice care from CHI Franciscan.
Mom is survived by her children: Jake, his wife Pamela and their children Liza (Conan) O’Brien and Sarah (Franck) Rougier; Michael and his dog Maggie; Dorothy/Babe, her husband Larry, their dog Mildie, and Larry’s children Alan, Margi, and Douglas; Jeffrey, his wife Fran, their lap dog Emma, and their children Gregory (Lauren) Powel and Melissa Powel. Her great grands include Neve & Beckett O’Brien, Louis-Henri and Charles Philippe Rougier, Ellis and Vivian Powel. She also embraced her Kehres great grands Aubrey, Zachary (Karen) and Marissa (Lawrence) Bindner. And one great-great grandson Lars Bindner. She adored all of her nieces and nephews from both sides of the family; and was often another Mom to any child who needed one.
Who you met, was what you got with our Mother Dear: she was gracious, generous, of a strong faith, with no artifice. We will miss her good humor, quick wit, calm advice that “everything will work out in the wash”, and unconditional love and support.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made in her name to Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, 1187 Wyatt Way NW, Bainbridge Island 98110; Saint Joseph’s School for Lakota Children (https://give.stjo.org/donate); Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island Land Trust (https://www.bi-landtrust.org); Seattle Union Gospel Mission; KUOW PBS or a charity of your choice. She probably donated to it.
The family will have a private interment at Saint Barnabas, Bainbridge Island. An August 14th celebration with ice cream, cookies and chocolates – her favorite food groups – will be held in the summer as Covid phases allow. To access the Cook Family Funeral Tribute to Mom go to https://gb774.app.goo.gl/LysFZ .