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Louise Mary

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.

Past Comments


I couldn’t mention all the special things you left with me, but I can tell you that you are one special lady – “mother” you filled so many of my days with love and laughter and even tears. No one can take away the special times or the sad, hard times, we were together and we got through it. You trusted me with your everything – I love you. It is the journey that matters, the beginning until the end and then what we do with it in the future. I will never let the stories or memories fade. You were a very lucky lady, you were loved and truly cheerished by the loved ones that WERE in your life NOW and always.


Nana, I miss you more everyday but I know you would want me to smile. I love you so much and will never forget all the wonderful times we shared and all the laughter you brought. Thanks to you “praying for me” many things have come true. I hope that you have given Grandpa a hug from all of us. Everyone that mattered was by your side until the day you left us, I know you knew it too. I love you so much, I will uphold all my promises to you.


I love you nana and I miss you more and more everyday. You taught me to be a tough girl and to never take crap from anyone. Me and you were buddies and we had our little secrets (: you were the most loving and caring woman I ever met and I would do anything to have you here for one more day with us, but i know that you’re with grandpa now and you’re happy. You gave me the best 19 years and I’ll miss you every day but I know you’ll always be watching over me. I’ll never let go of any of my memories of you and I promise I am going to make you proud. You have no clue how much you were loved, and the ones that count are the ones that NEVER left your side. I love you Nana.

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