Ellen Sue Palka

17 January, 19652 January, 2021

Ellen Sue Palka was born on January 17, 1965 and passed away on January 2, 2021 and is under the care of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home.

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Ellen Sue Palka

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Todd Brooks

February 11, 2021

I was so sorry to learn of Ellen's passing. We became acquainted about 2 years ago when my dog, Coach, and I passed her on the sidewalk on a nice spring day as we were on our respective tours of the Knightsbridge/Easthampton loop in our neighborhood. She was such a nice person and I was uplifted every time we saw each other going around that loop. She seemed never to be having a bad day, was always cheerful and always soaking in each and every moment of the day. What a wonderful example to us all. I was thoroughly impressed by how she instantly remembered my name and that of my dog and always greeted us by name after that first encounter--usually, starting with Coach, not me! On nice days when Coach and I set out on our usual late afternoon walk, I always hoped we'd run into Ellen and we looked forward to those visits, brief as they were. I regret I didn't meet Ellen sooner and that I didn't get to have a few more conversations with her. What a wonderful lady.

Barbara Bass

January 27, 2021

I first met Ellen after her Mom's memorial service. I was one of her caregivers. I worked several months with her and then our journey ended. In 2020, just before the pandemic started, I received a telephone call from Ellen asking me to come back. I laughed and said, "You kept my number." She laughed and said, "Yes!" I did. She needed me and I told her "Yes, I'll be there."

Ellen is a Trooper. I've seen her have good and bad days. Her good days outweighed the bad, and she didn't complain about the state that she was in. She loved summer, and she would do her two miles plus, no matter how warm it was outside.
She enjoyed politics, reading books, organizing, writing, and she loved her cousins and friends. Ellen was precise on things that she was doing, even when it came down to eating. I like to cook, so I would prepare different things like homemade cauliflower pizza, wings, egg salad, and T-bone steak with green beans and potatoes. After she tasted it, she said, "Uh-oh! it melted in my mouth!" I loved working with her, and I know that I did a great job. Let me tell you this, if it wasn't right, she would have let me know.

I started out as a caregiver, but in the end, she was my family. My motto to her was I will treat you the way that I treat myself!!! Treat people the way you want to be treated!!

Ellen will be missed; her spirit is living with me!

Elissa Oken

January 21, 2021

I am a neighbor of Ellens, across the street. She was here when I moved in over 30 years ago. Ironically, this past year with the pandemic , I got to know Ellen a bit more than a wave and friendly hello. I regret that, knowing now what an interesting and strong woman she was. We will miss seeing her and being her neighbor. Our sincere condolences to the family.

Sally Williamson Greaser

January 13, 2021

Ken and family,
I got to know Ellen when she and I served on the Board of Directors of the Raleigh Jaycees at the same time. Your parents were so faithful to bring her to both the board meetings for which she served as secretary and the twice monthly general meetings at what is now the NC State University Club. Although I did not get to know her well, she was conscientious and meticulous in taking the minutes and was always so nice and pleasant to everyone whom she was around. Please know that I am thinking about your family at this sad time. Take care.

Brother Ken

January 12, 2021

Brother and sister

Brother Ken

January 8, 2021

What could I say about my sister Ellen…

Besides an avid reader, she was one of the most intelligent and determined individuals I ever knew. Life was very challenging for her having MD, where most people might have given up, she persevered. Her inner strength was inspiring.

She was an avid hockey fan although she didn’t pick it up from me or anyone else in the family. While struggling with Math she sought assistance from our next-door neighbor who was head of a Math department. He was a NY Ranger fan and turned her into one too. Her favorite player was actually Hall of famer; Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins (good taste). I had got her his book for Christmas.

As kids we shared birthdays together, she was the 17th and I was the 14th. Our parents rolled them into the same day; usually the closest Sunday where family joined the celebration of a home cooked dinner, layer cake and presents.

She was very tolerant: During summer when we were off from school and mom was at work, I’d stay home to care for her. My bedroom was directly up a flight of stairs from hers. I’d be playing music and guitar too loud. My friends would come over
contributing to the noise, we’d sound like a stampede of buffalo galloping up and down the stairs. She never complained… not once. She’d close her door and tried to read. As soon as mom came home, we’d hit the pool while she prepared dinner. It was years later when she finally told me how much she hated my taste in music.

As a tween, her desk had every recent issue of Tiger Beat Magazine along with a few Star and pretty much anything that contained a picture of young Leif Garret.

While I still resided in NJ, we’d always stop in driving down to Disney. Mom would cook up a favorite. Ellen spoke affectionately of her neighbors and the help and friendship they provided. My son would talk hockey with her and we’d talk politics as we shared the same ideology. You will be missed!

Karen Hores

January 7, 2021

In the years following her mother’s passing I grew to know more about the women Ellen had become. A women who could take charge and manage life’s circumstances . Caring for herself meant trusting a legion of strangers, several who became good companions . She made plans and set to restoring a comfortable , safe dwelling. Ellen worked to take care of her physical needs and find needed resources in the health care field.
My Aunt Olga and Ellen lived contentedly in a neighborhood rich with people who watched over them and kept the two stocked with laughter and good stories.
In phone calls with Ellen , my sister and I grew to know the kindness of her neighbors. They supplied Ellen with holiday meals, walks around the block and updated accounts of her Raleigh , NC, world.
Ellen enjoyed watching the birds from her backyard deck . From the front of her home, she would sit with the garage door open and gathered rays of precious vitamin D while chatting with her friends.
She shared our family history, the love of my grandma’s cooking, the wit of her Uncle Paul , the grace and good nature of our grandfather and the love of her parents.
Ellen will find her needed daily dose of a sun and the comfort of those who have gone ahead. We will miss her company on earth.

Janet Osterhout

January 7, 2021

I was there the day Ellen was born. My Aunt Olga insisted on hosting a birthday party for her son Kenneth despite the nearness of her due date. We were greeted at the door by my Aunt in labor who barked instructions about how to proceed with Ken's party as my Uncle John whisked them away to the hospital. As we cut Ken's birthday cake the phone rang with the news of her arrival. Ellen was deeply loved by her family from that day. My second fondest memory is Ellen's love of books; she was a voracious reader and my sister and I followed our Dad's cue of sending Ellen books for her birthday taking up his tradition after our Dad, her Uncle Paul, died. Ellen spoke of and planned to turn a spare room into a library where she could be surrounded by her beloved books. It was never finished but most of the books remain in storage tubs ready and waiting. I know Ellen is in heaven discussing books with my Dad encircled by library shelves. My heartfelt condolences to her brother Ken and his family.
Janet Osterhout