Eller Chronicles Feb 94 p- 7

The Eller Chronicles


Page - 61

Ashe County, North Carolina

(maybe Ethel "B" for Blanche ? [ADE] )

In November 1992, Dr. Byron Eller, Lynn Eller and Gerald Eller had a very enjoyable visit with Ethel E. Eller, first at lunch and later in her home in Lansing, Ashe County, North Carolina. On that occasion we met her daughter Daphne Leonard and her cousin Truett Eller. We were working at that time on the Gertrude Eller Waddell story and Ethel gave us much help including several pictures for that project. During this visit we asked Dapne to begin preparation of a story on her mother and her family for The Eller Chronicles. Daphne began collecting material for the story but the ending was not what any of us expected or wanted. Following that visit Ethel called often to ask for information or place an order for back-issues of The Eller Chronicles or for more copies of the Eller Family Cookbook. She was a member of the E F A and her interest in the Association was deep and enthusiastic.

During our visit in 1992, Lynn and I promised Ethel we would return for another visit in the spring. Ethel specifically requested that we bring Juanita along. Planning for the 1993 Eller Family Conference soon took up all of our time so the trip was postponed until later in the summer. We finally made plans to return to Ashe County in October, 1993. Ethel was excited about the visit and invited us to meet her for lunch at the little country restaurant near her home in Lansing.

On the appointed day Lynn, Juanita and Gerald arrived only to learn that Ethel had suffered a severe heart attack three days before our visit. She had refused to have us notified. Instead she gave her doctor the order to get her out of the hospital in time for our luncheon. That was impossible so she insisted that her two daughters, their spouses, and her son host the lunch in her place. During lunch a telephone call came from the hospital saying Ethel was out of intensive care and wanted us to come see her. We visited with her about 7:00 p.m. for about fifteen minutes. She was very animated, happy and talkative. She was her usual enthusiastic self and was happy to meet Juanita for the first time. We arose next morning to learn the devastating news that Ethel passed away the evening before only three hours following our visit.

On behalf of the E F A, Lynn kept in touch with Daphne and the family and has prepared the following chart to explain Ethel's "double-Eller" lineage as an introduction to information which he has received from Daphne.

ETHEL BLANCHE ELLER7 m. Edwin Cicero Eller, Jr.7
Henderson Aswell Eller6
m. Nancy "Nannie" Sullivan Graybeal
Edwin Cicero Eller, Sr.6
m. Laura Catherine [Graybeal (sic. ?)]
Hanford Eller5
m. Catherine Graybeal
James Eller5
m. Mary Ann Carlton
Luke Eller4
m. Sarah King
Simeon Eller4
m. Fanny McNeill
Jacob Eller3
m. Catherine White
John Eller3
m. Susannah Kerns
Peter Eller2
m. Elizabeth Dick
Peter Eller2
m. Elizabeth Dick
George Michael Eller1George Michael Eller1

(Note- LE: "I find it a most unique lineage with the name of Eller throughout her entire descendancy! I wonder if anyone else can claim such a chart? Also, note another "double," that of Graybeal figuring into Ethel's line as well as her husband's line."


Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994

P.O. Box 416
Lansing, NC 28643
November 23, 1993

Dear Lynn,
Your personal tribute as you honored my mother as one of the Saints in your church service was very touching. I believe she belongs with the Saints and I am very grateful to you for making that honor in her behalf

Lynn, I am still in shock. It just doesn't seem possible that she was so alive one minute and gone the next. She was so pleased that you could come by the hospital and that she had an opportunity to meet Juanita. We have been very busy with the necessary legal matters connected with her death but I still cannot realize that my mother is gone.

I have written an article about Mama which I am enclosing for Gerald's use in the Chronicles if he wishes... I have also copied articles which were written for the "Ashe County Heritage", Vol. 1, as Gerald requested. The article I am sending to Gerald I also plan to submit to the Vol. 2 issue of the "Heritage." I am also enclosing copies of articles written about her and printed in the local paper.

We are excited about the 1955 Eller Conference in Asheville and also the part we will play in Ashe County. Please keep us posted and let us know how we can help. Thank you for making us a part of the larger Eller family. Although Mama will never be with us as we plan for future gatherings, she certainly will be in spirit, urging us on and enjoying the Occasion!

Having you include us in the Eller reunions, and letting us get to know you has broadened and enriched our lives and we are looking forward to many more happy times together.




Eller Chronicles Vol. VIII-1 FEB. 1994


1st Row L-R: Daphne Eller, Leonard, Laura Ann Eller Wasserman, Juanita Fisher Eller
2nd Row L-R: Lynn Eller, George A. Leonard, Morris Eller, Truett Eller


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

    Ethel Eller, daughter of Henderson and Nancy "Nannie" Sullivan Eller1., was born near Lansing, North Carolina, February 21, 1905, and lived her 88 years in Lansing. She married Edwin Cicero Eller, Jr. and to them were born three children, Morris Edwin, Daphne, and Laura Nan. Edwin and Ethel owned a farm on the edge of Lansing, raising corn, tobacco, cows, chickens, and planting a large garden each year.
    When Edwin became postmaster in 1932, Ethel became his assistant and worked in his place while he served in the Navy during World War 11. During his absence, she also ran the farm, which meant getting up before daybreak to milk and feed the cows and chickens, and to get wood in. Their son, Morris, was serving in the Air Force and daughter Daphne was away in college. Only Laura Nan was left to help with the farm work. Ethel was appointed postmaster when Edwin retired and kept that position until her retirement at age 70.
    The Ellers were strong supporters in all areas of the community. When the stone school building was being constructed in the 1930's, the Ellers lived in a large white frame house with four large rooms not being used by the family. These rooms were made available for classrooms. The frame house was later torn down and replaced by a brick house. When there was no place for boarding teachers to stay in the community, the Eller home was opened to these teachers and to some students who needed a place to stay. Over the years, many teachers became "adopted" members of the family.
    A deep longing for the formal education she could not have instilled in Ethel the necessity for her three children to have college degrees. Although they were in the midst of the "Great Depression", Ethel and Edwin made major sacrifices so that the children could attend college.


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

    Ethel continued her encouragement to others to further their education. She served two terms on the Ashe County Board of Education; she was a member and supporter of "Friends of the Library"; and a supporter of the Arts Civic Center and Arts Council. She volunteered many hours over many years to the Heart Association and was serving on the Ashe Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees at the time of her death. Over the years, she has been an active member of the Home Demonstration Clubs. Her desire for the town of Lansing to grow and develop prompted her to give needed land to the town on which to build a well and a reservoir.
    Ethel was a perky, vivacious, determined, "feisty" lady who was always in the forefront for improvement in her town, county, and state; and an ardent supporter of political leaders, both locally and nationally.
    She was an active and loyal member of the Phoenix Baptist Church but she also supported the Lansing Methodist and Presbyterian Churches with her presence and her contributions.
    Ethel loved people and was especially proud of her own children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
        A. Morris Edwin was born May 17, 1924. He served in the Air Force during World War 11 and graduated from the University of North Carolina. He married Marilou Grosch, who died August 9, 1992. To them were born four children:
            1. Roxanne was born December 22,11958. She graduated from Appalachian State University and married Thomas Foster on May 31, 1987


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

            2. Todd Morris was born February 4, 1960, and graduated from Appalachian State University. He married Ruth Halik May 11, 1991. They have a son, Alexander, born September 21, 1993.
            3. Gregory Edwin was born June 26, 1961. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and married Mary Anne Klimchek on May 30, 1992.
            4. Tracey Louise was born January 17, 1964. She graduated from Randolph Technical Institute with a major in photography.
        B. Daphne was born June 22, 1926, and graduated from Woman's College of the University of North Carolina. She later received a master's degree in home economics and returned to earn a master's degree in library science in 1986. She married George Alan Leonard August 2, 1953. They have three children:
            1. Mary Theresa was born May 12, 1955. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and married Craig Lewis May 8, 1978. Christopher Scott was born February 24, 1983, and Cameron Lee and Courtney Leigh were born August 24, 1986.
            2. Nancy Catherine was born February 8, 1957. She graduated from Appalachian State University and married Robert Jordan February 24, 1980. Robert Lee, Jr. was born February 10, 1983 and Laura Catherine was born April 23, 1985.
            3. Elizabeth Eller was born March 28, 1960. She graduated from the University of North Carolina and married Dale Paulson on November 1, 1986. They have one daughter, Kelly Elizabeth, born September 8, 1993.


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

        C. Laura Nan was born July 2, 1932. She graduated from Appalachian State University and married Arthur Wasserman November 22, 1964. He died July 11, 1980. She has no children.
    In her later years, Ethel's strongest dream was that her children would build retirement homes near her. Just a few months before her death, her dream was fulfilled. All three children have homes side-by side at Ellerdale Acres, overlooking Phoenix Mountain, which is believed to be named for the ship "Phoenix" which brought George Michael Eller to America from Germany in 1743.
    In Ethel's kitchen hangs a needlepoint plaque which reads: "Ask God's blessings on your work, but don't ask Him to do it." This reflects her own personal philosophy, and she lived this philosophy to the fullest. One of the many sympathy cards received after her death on October 19, 1993, expresses beautifully how this loving, kind, generous lady will be remembered: "Those we hold most dear never truly leave us...they live on in the kindness they showed, the comfort they shared, and the love they brought into our lives."

Name:Daphne Eller Leonard
Address:P.O. Box 416
Lansing, NC 28643
Source of information: Personal knowledge

1. George Michael Eller, 2. Peter, 3. Jacob, 4- Luke, 5. Hansford, 6. Henderson, 7. Ethel (see page 130, George Michael Eller Book).


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

THE Post
6th Year, 7th issue    Tuesday, October 26, 1993    West Jefferson, N.C.

by Carlean Cooper
Assistant Editor
    Ethel E. Eller, a member of Ashe Memorial Hospital's Board of Trustees, a former Lansing postmaster and former school board member, died last Tuesday at Ashe Memorial Hospital. She was 88.
    "Ashe Memorial has been saddened by the sudden death of Mrs. Eller," Joe Thore, Ashe Memorial's director of development and public relations, said Friday. "She will be sadly missed as a Board of Trustee member and a friend of the hospital. She was very active in her work here and we will all miss her very much."
    Friends say she suffered a-massive heart attack on Sunday before her death.
    Onda Blevins said Mrs. Eller was a personal friend.
    "She was always there for everyone, always involved, right up to the end," Blevins said. "I saw her on Monday and she seemed to be doing better, then I heard she was gone."

    Blevins said she accompanied Mrs. Eller to the hospital Foundation's campaign kickoff dinner last month. "in later years, she had some problems hearing, but she was always very active and up until last year, raised a garden every summer.
    "She was also instrumental, I understand, in getting the town of Lansing incorporated and in getting the town's streetlights installed. She was always out there doing something for someone."
    Lansing resident Gladys Reeves said she had known Mrs. Eller all her life. "She was down-to-earth and a good neighbor, well-respected in the town and in the community." Reeves said. "She's done a lot for the town. She gave us a place for our well and a place for our water tank up on the hill on a prime spot on her property. She was She was a number one person."
    Funeral services for Mrs. Eller were held Friday at 2 p.m. at Phoenix Baptist Church at Lansing,


where she was a member. The Revs. Rex Eldreth and Pete Parrish officiated, with burial following in Ashelawn Memorial Gardens, north of Jefferson.
    Born Feb. 21, 1905 in Ashe County, she was the daughter of thc late Henderson and Nannie Sullivan Eller and the widow of the late Edwin C. Eller.
    She is survived by two daughters, Daphne Leonard and Laura Wasserman, both of Lansing, a son, Morris Eller, of Winston-Salem, seven grand-children, seven great-grandchildren. and a number of nieces and nephews.
    Memorials may be made to the: cardiac unit of Ashe Memorial Hospital, Jefferson, N.C., or to the Phoenix Baptist Church building fund, c/o: Bruce Eller, PO Box 158, Lansing, N.C.

LANSING Mrs. Ethel E. Eller, 88, of Lansing, died Tuesday, October 19, 1993 at the Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson. She was born in Ashe County on February 21, 1905, a daughter of Henderson Eller and Nannie Sullivan. Mrs. Eller was a member of Phoenix Baptist Church and was a former postmistress in Lansing. Surviving are one son, Morris E. Eller of Winston-Salem; two daughters, Daphne Leonard and Laura Wasserman, both of Lansing; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be conducted Friday afternoon 2 p.m. at the Phoenix Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Ashelawn Memorial Gardens in Jefferson. The family will receive friends Thursday evening 7 until 9 p.m. at Badger-Whittamore Funeral Home in West Jefferson. Memorials may be made to the Cardiac Unit of Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, N.C. 28460 or to Phoenix Baptist Church Building Fund, c/o Bruce Eller, P.O. Box 158, Lansing N.C. 28643


Eller Chronicles Nov. 1993 Supplement

Three good friends are fondly remembered

    When one loses three good friends within a short period of time. it makes one more mindful of one's own mortality. Each were victims of the county's number one killer, heart disease. They were all caring, giving people who touched my life and many others in different ways.
    Ethel Eller served her community and county in-so many useful ways. As postmistress, she found herself in the midst of things, but spent, many personal hours supporting local schools and as an active charter member of the Ashe Chamber of Commerce and the Ashe Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.
    She worked with the Ashe Heart Association and received the Life Membership Award some five years ago from the N.C. Heart Association and continued to work locally as long as her health permitted. It was always a pleasure to work with. or beside her in- any civic endeavor."
    Ethel had the unique capacity of being able to see the whole picture, rather than focusing on one section , of her county. She was ecumenical., in her thinking, belonging to a Baptist church and attending Methodist and Presbyterian churches-when opportunities arose.



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