Ellen Strawn Purcell

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ellen Strawn Purcell, 100, of Roachdale, passed away on Nov. 19, 2011 at her farm, surrounded by family.

She was born July 18, 1911 in Sullivan County, the oldest of six children born to Glenna and Walter Strawn. She graduated from Hymera School in 1929.

In 1930, she married Kenneth Muench, and to this union was born a daughter, Roberta. After he died, she married Charles Purcell in 1937 and they moved to Roachdale to farm. To this union, two daughters were born, Charla and Glenda. Charles passed away in 1967.

Ellen donated her time and talents to many community organizations over her 100 years. She was very active in the Roachdale Christian Church as a Sunday school teacher, youth group director and founder/director of the children's choir for 25 years.

She was a Farm Bureau Women's leader from the 1950s and was county president of the Federation of Women's Clubs. For more than 75 years, she was a member of Eastern Star, where she achieved Worthy Matron. Ellen was a 4-H leader and a member of Town and Country Home Economics for more than 50 years.

Ellen was a loyal daughter, a caring mother, a wonderful hostess, an excellent cook and a talented seamstress. She had a quick mind, a sharp sense of humor and a compassionate heart.

She enjoyed playing board games, collecting recipes and reading. She was a talented and prolific quilter, having designed and sewn more than 100 quilt tops since turning age 90 -- all of which she shared with her family and friends.

Ellen was an inspiration and positive influence in the lives of everyone she knew. She loved the Lord, and her kind and loving spirit live on in her large family, which for 40-plus years has gathered every summer for her birthday.

This past summer, Ellen celebrated her 100th birthday with two large family gatherings and a card shower that produced greetings from more than 100 friends and family, plus letters from President Obama and Gov. Daniels. Weatherman Willard Scott even wished her "Happy 100th Birthday" on the "Today Show" in August.

She is survived by a brother, Thomas Graeme Strawn of Greenwood; sister Norma Gene Rambow of Battle Creek, Mich.; brother-in-law Andy Hertel of Roachdale; her three daughters, Roberta Rarick and husband Maurice of Clarinda, Iowa; Charla Barnard and husband Thomas of Gloucester, Va., and Glenda Lindquist and husband Jeffrey of Sandusky, Ohio; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; stepbrother Bud Grindol of St. Charles, La.; nieces and nephews; and cherished friends.

Ellen's family would like to thank the loyal friends who have helped her remain independent and at home this year, including Kim Long, Herbie and Marsha Cloncs and Tony Asher as well as the staffs of the Visiting Angels and New Hope Hospice.

Arrangements are being handled by Servies and Morgan Funeral Home, 102 W. Washington St., Roachdale.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Roachdale Cemetery. A celebration of life service will be held at Roachdale Christian Church at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 and the family will receive friends at that time.

Memorial gifts in Ellen's name can be sent to Roachdale Christian Church, 1 N. Walnut St., Roachdale, IN 46172; or New Hope Hospice, 5600 W. Bradbury Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46241.

Online condolences may be made at www.serviesmorgan.com