On Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, the Lord took our mother, Sarah Jane Ellis, to heaven to be with our father. Born Feb. 21, 1927, in Buffalo, N.Y., to Italian immigrant parents, she was the fourth of eight children born to Girolamo and Josephine Middione.
As a young girl growing up during the Great Depression, she worked as a "soda jerk" for F.W. Woolworth's, then she worked as a welder on Terminal Island on the Liberty ships built during World War II, welding the hulls and putting her name in every ship she worked on for the war effort.
She went to visit her sister in Florida and there she met the love of her life, our father. They married in 1948 and gave life to her three loving children, Grace A. (Rick) Van Horn, Russell B. (Cindy) Ellis and Jerry G. (Jane) Ellis. She also leaves her two grandchildren, Jason B. Ellis and Olivia Rose Ellis, who she loved very deeply.
Mom owned and operated Sarah's Beauty Shop in Highland Park, Calif., for 15 years before she, Dad and brother Jerry moved to Kingman in 1976, where they both opened businesses. Besides having her business, Morning Star Indian Jewelry, for the last 33 years, she made time to research our dad's genealogy back to the Mayflower and made it possible for us to be members of the Mayflower Society, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution. Mom was a proud member of the American Rosie the Riveter Association, the Friends of the Library, the museum, the Red Hat Society and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Preceding her in death were her loving and devoted husband of 58 years, Russell B. Ellis Sr.; her parents, Girolamo and Josephine Middione; sister, Caroline Brunnetto; and brothers, Joseph Middione, Angelo Middione and Vincent Middione.
She also leaves behind her loving sisters, Marie Sorrenti and Delores Stonebraker; and her loving brother, Carlo Middione (Lisa) and loving brother-in-law, Alex Ellis; nieces, Josephine (Rick) Patton, Mary Ann (Stan) Palmer, Kathy (Michael) Smith, Deanna Agnone, Vickie (Shawn) O'Neill, and Jeanette, Carol and Tasha (Chuck) Cady; and nephews, John Wielkiewitz, Angelo (Sonja) Middione Jr., Harry Middione, Mathew Middione, James McCulley, Sam Cady, Chet Cady and Jake O'Neill.
Our mother was always so smart; she loved to read and do research. She was always doing things for her family. Even as a child, her nickname was "Saggia," which in Italian means "the wise one." She will be missed by all, especially by me, her daughter, Grace; she was my mother, my best friend and my confidant. "I love you with all my heart and soul, Mom."
A celebration of life memorial service will be held for Mom at noon on Saturday, Oct. 2, at the American Legion Post 14 on the corner of Third and Oak streets. All are welcome to attend.