COOPERSTOWN – Ellen M. Armstrong, 89, longtime guidance secretary at Cooperstown Central School, died in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing.
A native of Little Falls, she was born there Oct. 15, 1928, a daughter of Charles F. and Marie (Feeney) Kelly.
After graduating with honors from St. Mary’s Academy in Little Falls, Ellen came to Cooperstown in 1946 to work as a lab intern at Bassett Hospital. She married William Thomas Armstrong on July 31, 1948 in Little Falls. They made their home in Cooperstown, and for over 60 years they and their family resided on Susquehanna Avenue.
Ellen saw motherhood as her calling and her joy, and she devoted herself full-time to raising her large family. After her youngest child entered school, she worked part-time for several years as a teacher’s aide at Cooperstown Elementary School. Soon afterward, she became the Guidance Office secretary at Cooperstown Central School where she worked for 14 years. In the Guidance Office, her helpful kindness touched many lives. Ellen loved working with students, and they loved her back, twice dedicating the high school year book to her.
Ellen was a devout Catholic and communicant of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church. She was a former member of the National Council of Catholic Women, a Sunday school teacher, and a long-time eucharistic minister. She was a woman of great faith.
Ellen loved music and was an accomplished tap dancer. She was proud of participating, at the age of 60, as a tap dancing chorus member in the 1988 CCS production of the musical “Anything Goes.” She loved travel and particularly relished her many years of annual trips to Cape Cod with her mother and sister, children and grandchildren. Above all, she loved others. She was gifted with the ability to connect to people, and to raise their hopes and spirits. She was a cherished wife, mother, grandmother and community member. She will be greatly missed.
Ellen is survived by her children, Mark Armstrong and his wife, Mary, of Harrisville, N.H., Maureen A. Parsons of Endicott, Andrew T. Armstrong of Cooperstown, Abigail M. Armstrong and her husband, Peter J. Farmer, of Lancaster, Mass., Erin E. Cullings and her husband, Ned, of Castleton, and Mary Ann Armstrong and her partner, Angelika von Wahl, of Easton, Pa.; eight grandchildren, John Parsons (Alysen), Megan Mercy (Brian), James Parsons (Jill), Emily Rader (Scott), Bridget and Natalie Cullings, and Brian and Kevin Farmer; and six great grandchildren, Ella , Joe, Ronan, Caitlin and twins Cooper and Carter Parsons.
She is further survived by her brother, Charles F. Kelly II and his wife, Ann of Norwalk, Conn.; one brother-in-law, Tom Armstrong and his wife, Lillian, of Springfield Center; three sisters-in-law, Virginia Armstrong and Jeanette Armstrong of Springfield Center and Sheila Armstrong of Rome; and many nieces and nephews.
Ellen was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Bill, who died June 18, 2014, and a son, Peter G. Armstrong who died Jan. 10, 1966.
A time of visitation for family and friends will be 3-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 22, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake”, with Father Gregory Weider, officiating.
Interment will be this spring in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Index.
Memorial donations in Ellen’s name should be made to the Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.