When reflecting on the life of Louise M. Ellis, there is one word that seems to be repeatedly woven throughout her fabric of life – the word love. She was blessed to share 56 wonderful years with her “honey” Earl, and she fully embraced that being a mother and grandmother was truly one of life’s greatest gifts. Although immensely strong willed, Louise lent her great sense of humor and compassion to everyone around her and in doing so, brightened many lives.
In 1926, life was good in the United States. Although a revolt in Nicaragua found military troops being sent to help preserve order, Americans were enjoying relative peace and prosperity. For John and Louise (Wipplinger) Griebl of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the most special event in 1926 was the birth of their daughter, Louise Mary, on October 5th. She was the youngest of their two children.
Life was not always easy, and the Depression era family often found themselves in the wake of hardships. Like many young adolescents of the time, Louise attended school through the 10th grade and then left to work to help support the family. Louise was lucky enough to find a job working at Gimbels Department Store, and later became a machine operator at Allen Bradley Company.
In 1953, Louise met the love of her life, Earl Ellis, when they were set up on a blind date. They were quite opposites though as Louise had the “gift for gab” while Earl was quiet and reserved. Perhaps this is why it took Earl several weeks to ask her out again. As fate would have it, the two fell hopelessly in love and were happily married on June 26, 1954, in Milwaukee. After saying “I do,” the newlyweds lived with Louise’s mother for a time before they bought their own home on South 19th Street. It wasn’t long before Louise and Earl filled their hearts and home with the joy of three children: Kathy and twins, James and Joey. Sadly, Joey died at birth. Louise loved her family dearly, and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t for them. In later years, when she became a loving “Nana” to her five grandchildren and four great grandchildren, Louise poured much love and attention into these relationships too. She was always there with a listening ear and a hand to lend support.
Earl was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II. He later became a member of the George Washington American Legion Post #2, and it wasn’t long before Louise joined along as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary for the same Post. Louise took great pride in being a member of this organization for over 39 years.
Louise was known for being a stubborn German, who never backed down from what she believed in. She called herself “The Great Louie” and joked that “nobody messes with the Great Louie.” Her great sense of humor never failed to bring a smile to someone’s face and she was always ready with a good witty come back. Yet, it was hard not to see that Louise’s heart was always full of love and she prayed for everyone. Sadly, Louise lost her beloved Earl on December 2, 2010, and this was the start of her decline from a broken heart. She was already dealing with other health problems when she fell and fractured her pelvis in July 2011. Louise worked hard to recover so she could go back home, which she did for a time, but then more problems arose and she was hospitalized at St. Luke’s Medical Center on April 22nd, and she passed away on Saturday, April 28, 2010.
Louise was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Earl. Cherished mother of Kathleen (Roger) Cardenas, James (Sherry) Ellis and the late Joey Ellis. Loving “Nana” of Jeremy (Angie) Cardenas, Jesse (Kerri) Cardenas, Nicholas (Dawn), Amanda (Steve) and Ashley Ellis. Great-grandmother of Cody, Morgan, Wyatt and Kolton. Dear sister of John (Audrey) Griebl. Sister-in-law of Betty Murray and Lee (Linda) Ellis. Further survived by other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 4, at Forest Hill Memorial Park – Chapel, 3301 E. Forest Hill Avenue, Oak Creek, WI. Arrangements by Suminski Life Story Funeral Homes. Niemann/ Suminski; 414-744-5156. www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com
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