Ellen Ross Adams
April 7, 1926 – October 13, 2020
Ellen was born in 1926 in Bismarck, Illinois on her family farm. Growing up on the farm she learned responsibility from an early age. Ellen also learned about and came to faith in God, and His Son Jesus Christ, seeing Him clearly in Creation, especially on the farm. Through her early life on the farm, she understood God as the Creator of all things. Ellen saw firsthand the Lord’s provision for her family through rain on their crops, as well as the welfare and prosperity of the livestock and harvests. She also learned hard lessons about life – crops fail, the rain doesn’t always come, livestock become diseased and die. The country’s economy can become extremely weak and go into a Great Depression. The one constant was God’s presence, love, peace and provision for all her needs. Ellen grew up on the farm, and shared that faith in God with one sibling, younger brother Jim, whom she loved dearly, and they remained close her entire life.
Ellen was a cheerleader at Bismarck High School where she met the love of her life, “Bill” (William P) Adams. They communicated and developed their relationship while Ellen attended and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University, receiving her degree in Home Economics, was a lifelong member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, and was also elected homecoming queen at the university! Ellen taught in Joliet, Illinois for the beginning of her nearly 30 years of being a public-school educator. Bill graduated from Michigan State University, they married, and moved to Washington, D.C. where Bill received his law degree from Georgetown University.
Ellen attained a Master’s degree in Special Education from George Mason University and worked as a special education teacher for severely mentally physically disabled children in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., in Fairfax County while having and raising 3 children, Cheryl, Ross, and Cathy. During this same time, she supported Bill over his 32-year career with the Federal Government, where he served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the Legislative Counsel’s Office, the Committee of Interstate and Foreign Commerce, and later as Chairman of the Railroad Retirement Board. Ellen shared a memory of having the later-to-be movie actors Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine as students at one of her schools where she taught, and that Warren was the “class clown.”
Ellen loved her country, and was a lifelong member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She valued her family lineage to John Witherspoon, who signed the Declaration of Independence as one of the New Jersey delegates. He was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence, and served as the president of Princeton University. His sons fought in the Revolutionary War.
Upon Bill’s retirement they moved to Oviedo, Florida to be near Cathy, her husband Larry, and their 4 children. Ellen was an active member of the Oviedo Women’s Club, and very much enjoyed serving at the annual “Great Day in the Country” event. She was a member of University Carillon United Methodist Church.
“Grandma Adams” loved her family, and modeled the attributes of God in unqualified love, patience and compassion, not only to her family but to everyone she met. She is present with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory as He promises believers in Him, and we rejoice in that. Our hearts are heavy over no longer receiving God’s love through her loving kindness and warm embrace. We again rejoice that she is united with the Lord in glory, and re-united with her beloved husband Bill and granddaughter Ashley. We will see you in glory when God calls us home Mom/Grandma/sister!
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Lura Ross; husband William “Bill;” granddaughter Ashley; and is survived by brother James (Erin) Ross; children Cheryl (Rick) Harman; Ross (Maryann) Adams; Catherine Adams Eflin; 10 grandchildren (Ricky, Christy, Carly, Brittany, Jacqueline, Stephanie, Juliette, Candace, Billy, Zach) and 5 great grandchildren (Ashley, David, Samuel, Owen, Harper, and looked forward to Liam’s arrival in March 2021). Ellen is also survived by first cousin Lois Blass, whom she was close with, and her children Bonnie, and Doug, as well as Cousin Carol Ann (Mick), Courson, whom she loved as a daughter, and her children Cathy, Jane and Jerry.
In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities. mhc.org
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020