UPDATED Friday, September 5, 2014 at 5 PM:
Here is a link to video of Ellen’s memorial service, august 31, 2014.
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Remarks delivered at Ellen’s memorial:
I want to thank everyone who has expressed sympathy and support for Mosier Fire. It means a lot to us, and it would please Ellen.
In a few minutes members of Portland Fire Honor Guard, American Medical Response Honor Guard, and the Oregon State Fire Service Honor Guard will begin a brief ceremony by which the fire service pays final respects and highest honors. Following a few speakers and a last roll call, the Honor Guard will conclude by retiring the flags.
Five years ago almost to the day, the Microwave Fire was still smoldering just west of here when Ellen answered a call for recruits. That was the beginning of her embrace of the fire service, and it happened about a block from here. That act of volunteering is the reason we, her fire family, are in Mosier today.
What Ellen accomplished in five years is an awe-inspiring example for everyone in the fire service. She’s going to have things named after her, long remembered far and wide for her drive and sense of purpose.
In Mosier, where she hoped to make the greatest difference, she will be remembered also for being so deeply woven into the fabric of our broader community.
This community completed Ellen. We cherished her as a neighbor first, skilled rescuer second. I will always remember Ellen for the effect she had on scene here. She’d met most of our residents, often by knocking on a door just to see who lived behind it. When she responded here, Ellen was more than a familiar face to those having a bad day. She could often pick up a conversation where it was left off, and yet another Mosierite was visibly uplifted.
She embodied this community taking care of itself.
To one degree or another, that image rubbed off on the rest of us in Mosier Fire. Her legacy here as a fire fighter and EMT will begin with our gratitude.
Thank you, Ellen, for that big heart.
On behalf of your Mosier Fire family, thank you, and farewell.
- Jim AppletonMosier Fire Chief
August 31, 2014