The Ellard/Maritato Family love story began on October 18, 2014, when Brian and Ornella were joined in holy matrimony. The beautiful family of Brian, with his daughters Brinson and Campbell, and Ornella, with her children Alice and Dylan, began a wonderful journey of life. They loved deeply, encouraged and uplifted one another and, together, built a life of magnetic energy, creativity with a vision to live life to the fullest.
Tragically, their lives ended June 30, 2019, in an accident in Addison, Texas.
BRIAN MARK ELLARD
January 1, 1967- June 30, 2019
Brian was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to Billy Joe and Carole Lee Higgins Ellard on January 1, 1967. Early in Brian’s life, his dad’s employer, Combined Insurance Company, moved the family to Dallas, Texas, to expand the operations here. Brian attended school in Farmers Branch where he graduated from R. L. Turner High School. He received his BA degree from Texas Tech University, where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and went on to receive his MBA from LeTourneau University in Longview.
At an early age, Brian began working in his Dad’s insurance company, starting out in the mailroom. Upon the death of his father, Brian stepped in to become President and CEO of his father’s company. His passion was in managing the sales team and built the company to a new level, attaining the coveted A- rating from the AM Best Company. Ultimately, Brian was promoted to the Board of the Directors of the entire family insurance company.
At a very early age, Brian exhibited a talent for art and sculpting and created many beautiful pieces which are cherished by family members today. His talent reached new heights in recent years, to include larger sculptures which are held in private collections. His most cherished piece is a life size bust of his father, Bill J. Ellard, of which only two editions exist.
Brian was an exemplary father in the formative years of his beloved daughters, Brinson and Campbell, encouraging their artistic talent, their love of travel, their individuality and he always strove to be a part of their everyday activities.
With the union of Brian and Ornella, Brian was also an exemplary stepfather to Ornella’s children, Dylan and Alice. He welcomed into his life with love, not only his stepchildren, but the Maritato and Consentino families.
One of Brian’s most enduring personality traits was his mastery of spontaneous “one-liners”. He also had great affection for the special pets throughout his life. The memories of Brian as a loving loyal father, husband, son, brother, stepson, stepfather and friend to many will be greatly missed and always remembered.
He is survived by his mother, Carole Ellard Sturges of Dallas, TX, his daughters, Brinson Elizabeth Ellard and Campbell Elise Ellard of Dallas, TX, his brother, Joe Chad Ellard of Dallas, TX, and his stepmother Betty Jo Ellard of Dallas, TX. He is predeceased by his father, Bill J. Ellard.
August 3, 1973- June 30, 2019
Ornella Ellard (maiden name: Cosentino) was born in Santa Maria C. V. (Caserta), Italy, on 8/3/1973 and died in a plane crash in Addison, TX, on 6/30/2019 at the age of 45. Her husband, Brian Ellard, and her kids, Alice and Dylan Maritato, died in the same accident. Ornella is survived by her father, Lorenzo Cosentino, and her sister Tiziana Cosentino and preceded in death by her mother Maria Giovanna Russo.
Ornella grew up in Caserta, Italy. Stunningly beautiful, elegance and grace were given characteristics since she was a little girl. She grew up in a beautiful place, where the perpetual exposure to art and marvelous architecture fed her strong passion for it and culminated in a Degree in Architecture achieved at the University of Aversa, Italy. She also got a professional diploma in Art Restoration and worked at numerous projects restoring beautiful paintings.
One important pillar of Ornella’s life has always been the bond with her only sister Tiziana. The mutual deep unconditional love permeated their entire lives. Their parallel paths often crossed. They shared a lot including the dream to one day have a life in New York and they ultimately made it happened. Tiziana arrived first in 2001 and a few months later Ornella joined her older sister overseas.
Here is where she met her husband Michele, a successful restaurant owner, with whom she ultimately shared her two adorable kids. Ornella was the ultimate mother to both Alice and Dylan. She wanted them so much. She loved them so much.
Early in her first marriage, satisfying the innate need to raise a child was her main priority. When she realized she was not meant to carry one, the two adopted a beautiful baby girl. Alice was her daughter before she was even delivered. A year later, she found out to be pregnant with Dylan. She was over the moon happy to be able to give a sibling to her daughter. Dylan brought joy to joy. Being a mother of two in New York was not an easy task. Ornella pragmatically left her job as an Architect at a NYC firm, where she supervised prestigious projects for private and commercial spaces throughout New York, and when Michele had a professional opportunity in Dallas, they moved to enjoy a less stressful lifestyle.
After devoting a few years to being a loving full-time mother, exposing her two kids to all her passions such as art, music, theatre and all sorts of cultural events, she decided to go back to work as an interior designer.
It is during that time that her marriage with her first husband ended. Such transitions can be hard to endure, but Ornella carefully processed it all in a way that kept her kids happy. She never lost affection for Michele, they maintained mutual respect and they shared the common commitment to raising Alice and Dylan in harmony.
Ornella’s work as an interior designer could be admired throughout Dallas. The mix of Italian flare combined with clean and sleek architectural elements became her signature style. Beauty was everywhere for Ornella and making everything beautiful was her gift. While working is when she encountered Brian Ellard, “a Renaissance Man” as she loved to define him. It was literally that love at first sight type of feeling for both. They dived into each other’s hearts and two souls merged. They realized right away they shared the same passions, especially for art and culture. Brian was initially known as a successful businessman and he was, but he was a brilliant artist first. That was clear to Ornella since that moment they first saw each other and that was who she fell in love with. Not the CEO, but the artist.
They finally got married in 2014, and since then they had been living their life together working, traveling, organizing charity events and sponsoring cultural initiatives throughout the city. Members of Bent Tree Country Club, they also shared a great passion for tennis, a great source of joy. Ornella participated to numerous tournaments achieving great placements with her teammates. Playing tennis was one of Ornella’s greatest passions.
Two years ago, Tiziana moved to Dallas with her husband Giuliano and their now 6-year-old son Julian. Ornella and her sister finally would be together. The eight of them finally living all in the same city. This was a universal gift. Ornella and Tiziana were supposed to be close to one another. They inspired each other all their lives. They had different skills and they lived off each other that way. The two made each other better. These two sisters had that type of profound sisterhood.
Giuliano, talented Star Chef, enticed forever Brian’s palate, who became such a passionate fan of his food. He decided to partner with him. Together they opened in 2017 an authentic Italian restaurant in Oak Lawn called Mille Lire. Here Ornella found ground to extrovert her talent and added her personal touches to the interior of the restaurant, while Tiziana took care of the Marketing needs of the business.
Ornella did everything with love, enthusiasm and passion. She bit life out and enjoyed every single bite of it. Never missed a given opportunity to do something, never missed a chance to build a memory, to learn something. Always pushing those she loved to do the same.
Ornella’s life, though way too brief, was the quintessential full circle. After so many chapters and transitions, ultimately all fell into that perfect place. The two sisters dreamed of it all when they were young girls in Caserta and now a picture had been completed. Alice, Dylan and Julian would grow together. They even had Mille Lire to share. The family was going to just collect memories and happy days. Live all happily. Live. Then, in seconds this unimaginable tragedy forced this type of ending and shattered hearts and souls forever.
Ornella will always be the beautiful Italian woman her husband Brian loved so deeply. Her graceful elegant style now only trapped in still images forever. Ornella will never age and will always stay this beautiful. It is hard to find comfort, reason or sense. Ornella’s sudden passing will forever remain impossible to comprehend. The only possible consolation is knowing Ornella lived her life the only way she knew how: to the fullest!
We love you Ornella. Forever.
ALICE GIOVANNA MARITATO
May 29, 2004-June 30, 2019
Alice Giovanna Maritato was born in Albany, NY, on 5/29/2004 and died in a plane crash in Addison, TX, on 6/30/2019, at the age of 15. Alice’s mother, Ornella Ellard, her brother Dylan and her stepfather Brian Ellard, died in the same accident. Alice is survived by her father Michele Maritato. She attended the following schools:
• Hightower Elementary
• Frankford Middle School
• John Paul II High School
Adopted in Albany, NY, Alice was wanted and loved immediately. Her mother Ornella, her father Michele and aunt Tiziana, held her in their arms right after birth. When Alice was 2, her brother Dylan joined and complemented the family of four. The sibling bond sparked at once. Alice and Dylan had an innate chemistry that over the years just kept growing stronger.
A loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. Alice’s heart had no capacity. Loving hard came natural to her. Alice was loved and gave love. She adored her father Michele so deeply and yet she could also love her stepfather Brian as well. Aunt Tiziana too was more yet another mother. Alice loved her primordially, as if she could even recall being in her arms when she was just born. Her young cousin Julian whom she adored was more yet another sibling. Even her best friend Alex, whom she had met in second grade, was like a sister for Alice and they shared so many wonderful, playful and joyful memories over the years.
Alice loved joy. Her joy brought joy. She loved to laugh and make you laugh. Her radiant smile which even identified her was often just a prelude to a laugh - a belly laugh when possible. Her sharp punch lines and humoristic observations often had a timing and wit that you rarely see in a girl her age. Often her creativity, sensitivity and intelligence felt older than her. Alice was never a uniformed personality of some sort. There are not two Alice. Alice was the only possible Alice there could ever be.
Music was always a growing passion for Alice as her mom exposed her to it since she was very young. When Alice was three years old, Ornella flew with her to Atlanta to see Michael Bublé’s concert. The artist himself spotted her in the crowd and stopped his performance to inquire about her and be absolutely charmed by his youngest fan he had ever met.
Later in time beauty and make-up too became a passion, one she could share with aunt Tiziana. Alice still too young to wear most products, loved looking for new stuff for zia Tiziana to potentially use. Beauty and make up became a great game to play together. Alice knew how to turn mundane activities into fun games, even traditions. Her bond with her aunt was and will always be deep and endless.
Alice’s beloved uncle Giuliano’s culinary art kept her a regular visitor of his and Brian’s restaurant Mille Lire where she loved to eat. Alice was no stranger to enjoying restaurant meals, her father Michele was once a restaurant owner as well. She grew up loving food. Lamb was her favorite meat. Giuliano allowed himself to go off his own menu and willingly customize dishes based merely on Alice’s possible likes and wants.
Her interest in languages (and accents too, which she imitated so well) sparkled off her unconditional love for her Italian Nonno Lorenzo who speaks no English. Her bond with Grandpa transcended words and even when she had no idea what he was saying to her, her solar smile became the sole needed sentence.
Alice, a talented versatile artist, learned quickly to express her artistry in many formats. Both Brian and Ornella were not just proud of her skills and delivery, but they were also a perpetual source of inspiration for her.
Alice was also involved with sports and she was an excellent swimmer. Being on the school swimming team meant practicing before school hours. Her wake-up call was an unfriendly 5 am every morning and yet she committed and loved it. Alice, although active with her interests, was also known to indulge and enjoy a relaxed time too. She loved being cozy at home, inside a soft robe, lying in bed and watching a movie.
Alice passing is impossible to comprehend. She will be missed in ways that are yet impossible to fully grasp. Many people loved her, and all will have to learn to accept a world without Alice in it. Jo and Chad Ellard, Carole Sturges and all of those who loved her and Dylan were pieces of mosaic that shaped Alice’s heart. So, may all people who love her never lose sight of the joy she loved to feel, of that smile almost tattooed on her face and all the life she loved to emote.
Let’s just imagine her, inside her soft robe, lying in bed or on her couch and ready to binge-watch a series that – unlike her short life- will never ever end its run.
We love you Alice. Forever.
DYLAN ROCCO MARITATO
November 16, 2005-June 30, 2019
Dylan Rocco Maritato was born in New York, NY, on 11/16/2005 and died in a plane crash in Addison, TX, on 6/30/2019, at the age of 13. Dylan’s mother, Ornella Ellard, his sister Alice and his stepfather, Brian Ellard, died in the same accident. Dylan is survived by his father Michele Maritato. He attended the following schools:
• Hightower Elementary
• All Saints Catholic School
Dylan’s birth was a miracle, happening years after his parents were told they would never be able to conceive. Dylan’s life was a bright light. His older sister Alice, whom he adored, was the first oxygen to his flame. They did everything together and loved each other unconditionally.
Dylan was a problem solver. Math is not an opinion and has rigid perimeters of given possibilities, but for Dylan math was also art. Dylan left his teachers stunned with his ability to manipulate given mathematical passages to ultimately generate the hidden answer. Needless to say, solving the Rubik’s Cube came very easy for him.
Dylan knew how to give, but taking was something he was still learning. When Nonno Lorenzo wanted to buy him something, he would do anything to convince his grandpa not to spend for him. He didn’t need anything if that meant someone would have to give something away. Of course, Nonno Lorenzo wanted to spoil his beloved grandkids, but seeing such a careful young gentleman in Dylan was impossible not to appreciate or be charmed by.
Dylan loved eating at Mille Lire and loved uncle Giuliano’s food; both the place and food made him feel not just Italian, but also at home.
Dylan was proud of his Italian heritage and had a very strong bond with his beloved Italian Dad. Soccer is in the DNA of most Italian men. It was always the thing Michele shared with his son at any age. Being on a soccer-team was a natural thing to do. Michele could have not been prouder of Dylan’s passion and exceptional talent.
No matter how much love Dylan had for his family he never ran out of love for others as well. Dylan’s heart was not a pie. He had more than 8 slices of love to give. Just like his sister Alice, the infinite love he had for his Dad would not stop him from loving his stepfather as well. Dylan recently shaved for the first time. Instead of sharing this special moment only with his Dad, he asked to have also Brian’s presence for such a milestone commencement. Michele was proud that the three shared this wonderful vignette of life, one that will never leave Michele’s heart, now the only beating heart left.
Dylan lived as Alice’s junior but played the senior brother role as well – and well - with his little cousin Julian who adored him. Dylan nurtured and cared for the young cousin who saw him as his best playmate and friend. This role came easy for Dylan, whose empathy was like no other and not easy to find in other children, who in nature often tend to be selfish. Not Dylan. Once, when he was maybe 5 or 6, during a soccer game Ornella noticed that when Dylan realized that another child was injured and unable to fully play, Dylan made sure that the temporarily disabled kid would not feel left behind in the game and he even helped him score a goal.
Dylan, like his sister Alice loved zia Tiziana unconditionally and was unconditionally loved by her. His deep affection to her was so specific that he felt the need to come up with his own word to call her when he was very little. Aunt or zia both seemed an inaccurate label for the mother-like love he felt for her. “Zaya”, although just a sound, felt a better barometer to indicate the love he felt for his second mother. Problem solved.
At 13 Dylan had just entered adolescence. He was just changing into a young boy. He was beginning to see girls under a different light. Days ago, Dylan told his Dad that he had a girl of interest. After the long weekend, he would have asked her out on a date – his first date.
Dylan will always be a teenager unconsumed by living or by the living. It is impossible to make sense that Dylan won’t have the chance to process life and be the wonderful man he would have surely been. That Dylan would have been an impactful presence on this planet is as certain as any mathematical equation he would have loved solving.
In algebra at times equations are impossible in nature. No one tells you that result until you process it, only to realize that there are nosolutions to generate. Accepting his passing is that impossible of an equation. But that is the given equation. He was asked to be a child but being a young man is now the impossible result.
Dylan remains a miracle. A forever bright light. His memory is now the oxygen that will keep many flames alive and flickering for the years to come.
We love you Dylan. Forever.
A special request: Dylan was recruited and received a scholarship to play soccer on FC USA TX 05B Black soccer team. A scholarship has been established in Dylan’s name to help children that are unable to join the elite team due to cost. To donate please make your check out to The Dylan Maritato Soccer Scholarship Fund.
Checks may be mailed to PO Box 218 Addison, TX 75001 Attention to Kathy Riddick, Ellard Family PA, Addison, Texas 75001