yellow rose

To help remember Ellen Gregory Robb, we have made her eulogy available here.

December 29, 2006
Radnor United Methodist Church, Radnor, PA
By Gary L. Gregory

Thank you for being here. Ellen would be honored and so incredibly grateful to each of you(and for so many) taking the time to come to express their feelings and gratitude for knowing her - and also to celebrate Ellen.

As Jane Dee said, who came all the way from Florida, Ellen would have said…”Jane, you don’t need to come. It’s really nice that you want to, but it’s too far.” Jane would’ve said…“But Ellen, I want to come.” Then Ellen would’ve said… “Jane, that’s really nice of you, but it’s too much money and you don’t need to…” and on and on.

As Becky Best and Jane both said last night, “Ellen deserves it”. Ellen not only deserves it - but Ellen has, like all of us, felt your outpouring of emotions and your outpouring of love. So, as Ellen would say, “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You…”

So, where do we begin? How can you rationalize what has happened?

If someone dies of natural causes or even if someone dies in a car accident, you can say and trust that it is God’s Will. Yet, I, we, have all been troubled because this is clearly not God’s Will.

I came here on Christmas Eve and ran into Frances Rivers. She is a long standing member of this wonderful church, which happens to be where Ellen forged her strong faith in God, and I told her that Ellen had passed. She asked what happened and I said it was an accident. When she found out what happened, Frances responded with firm clarity that this was no accident. Ellen’s passing is not God’s Will. Instead it is the will of darkness. And as Reverend Coales just stated, just like all of us, Jesus weeps for Ellen’s passing.

And yet, while it was not God’s will to take Ellen from us, as Frances & I discussed and as Reverend Coales just reinforced, we all should take comfort in the fact that she is now with God as we celebrate her today. This is powerful- and allows us to carry her forward in our hearts and souls through these difficult times.

So what comes to our minds and hearts when we think of and celebrate Ellen?

As her friend Chris McGuire said the other night, Ellen was like an Amazing Comet. “They are exceptionally rare, and once you see one, you are touched - and you will carry it with you forever.”

This is so descriptive of Ellen. We all know this is true - and it is firmly illustrated by asking anyone who ever met her. We know this is true because we were all touched by Ellen - as she was our streaking comet…

  • And we were all touched by her, as Penny said, by how she could fill up any and every room with laughter and her numerous & varied types of contagious laughs. We will remember them and miss them all.
  • We were touched by how she always focused on the good in all of us - and as someone said - she never said anything bad about anyone.
  • How she got excited - and her contagious enthusiasm - over the simple joys and simple things in life. From being one of the Espedrillians to “Oh Man, You gotta have some of this amazing strawberry cheesecake”.
  • How about her generosity and selflessness-as illustrated by her working 3 jobs in college - so that she could send home her social security checks to her widowed mother and 2 brothers.
  • Her never showing up without a gift. And even though she might be a tad bit late - she’d make up for it with her grace, presence and enthusiasm.
  • Her legendary Thank You's - which earned her the nickname “Miss Thank you” from my Uncle Vince - for showing relentless and sincere gratitude for anything you did for her.
  • How she over-tipped everyone - because she used to waitress - or how she could stretch a dollar so that she could get more for others.
  • How she was not only my big sister but also a “little mother” to my brother and me as well. How she was an ever faithful daughter and then became an ever faithful mother.
  • Her love of Maine and the Main Line (which was nature to her).
  • How she was an active volunteer in her community - for and with her daughter.
  • How her friends and family, even if she hadn’t spoken to them in a day, a week, a month or even years, were always, always held so close to her heart.
  • Her unparalleled politeness, which was created by her Mother, and how this gift is already being carried forward by her daughter.
  • How she intoxicated us with her spirit without her even having a glass of wine.
  • Her incredible love and pride for her family, her Aunts, Uncles, Niece, Nephews and Cousins and also friends (so many of whom are here today). Once you were in the circle with Ellen - she would defend you forever and hold you so very high.
  • And finally how about her being so nice to everyone. I heard countless times how she was the nicest, kindest person that people ever met. To illustrate, one gentleman came last night with his wife. He said they had to come once he heard the news, just to tell us that even though he only worked on her kitchen for a short time 6 years ago, she was truly one of the nicest persons they had ever been touched by - albeit for a very short time- many, many years ago. How amazing is that – how amazing for a comet named Ellen.
  • And perhaps one way to summarize all the ways that Ellen touched us was stated by someone to my Mother yesterday, “Ellen was an Angel on earth - and she just couldn’t be held here any longer.”

And so I would ask that all of us carry Ellen and her comet-like grace forward in each of our hearts, souls and actions –on a daily basis - from this day forward-for as long as we walk the earth.

I’d like to leave you with some closing words that are not of my own - but rather of Ellen’s - which were provided to her friend Karen Schmidt and their family when Karen lost her Mother at Christmas time many, many years ago in 1980: “I suppose the only thing that can get one through this is remembering the true meaning of Christmas -love, unity amongst all men, warmth and generosity. All of this symbolizing a beginning for all those who believe.”

At this time, please fill your hearts with the love Ellen had and carried for all of us - and remember her and feel her presence in all of your hearts.

And let’s carry her kindness, laughter, grace, enthusiasm, generosity, dignity and love forward in our hearts – through each day - for as long as we are alive. And through this, we will truly celebrate Ellen and the fact that we were all touched by her.

And one day, God willing, we will be reunited with Ellen - who has been our comet and will always be our Angel – and who now awaits us in God’s Domain.

May God Bless Each of You - and May God Forever Bless Ellen.