ROME — Eleanor "Miss Ellie" E. Townsend, age 88, passed away peacefully, November 5, 2011, with her loving family at her side.
Eleanor was born July 21, 1923, in Rome, a daughter of William and Rosa Bel Beckwith Hoffman, and graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1941. Eleanor was united in marriage to David R. Townsend, on September 27, 1942, in Rome; he died November 30, 1991. She was employed at Griffiss Air Force Base, retiring after many years of service. She was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, the "Sweet Adelines" and the Rome Historical Society.
Eleanor’s life revolved around her family. She was a special, loving, caring, unique and wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandma.
"Miss Ellie" was a mother of 9 children, but "MOM" to everyone. Anyone she met, instantly received a piece of her heart, and she would hold theirs close to her; evident in her warm embrace and signature trademark upon their cheek. She had a unique way to make every single person she met feel special, which will forever last in everyone’s heart.
Ellie belonged to a variety of Barbershop singing groups. It started in 1955, when she sang baritone in a quartet billed as "The Velvetones", which appeared in a Barbershop Show. She also was a part of a 28 voice women’s Barbershop group known as "the Copper Chords", which later became the "Sweet Adelines". Ellie competed in a national competition at Rochester, NY, and Hartford, CT, and an international competition at Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
"She sings baritone in a barbershop chorus, but a more feminine little lady is hard to find."
Ellie is survived by two daughters and a son in law, Donna Townsend of Rome, and Debra and Gene Bilodeau of Rome; seven sons and four daughters in law, David R. Townsend, Jr., of Sylvan Beach, Ronald D. and Janet Townsend of Rome, Bruce A. Townsend of Rome, James S. Townsend of Rome, Keith W. and Jeannie Townsend of Rome, Jodie M. and Jennifer Townsend of Rome, and Brian J. and Joanne Townsend of Rome; a brother and sister in law, William and Rose Hoffman of Las Vegas, NV; 32 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren and 11 great great grandchildren. She was predeceased by two sisters, Norma Smith and Joyce Sperry, a brother, Robert Hoffman, and two grandchildren, Wendy Townsend and Kelly Townsend.
The funeral service will be held Thursday at 11:00 AM at St. Peter’s Church. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.
Relatives and friends may call at the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street, Wednesday 4 to 8 PM.
Please offer online tributes or light a candle at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com