• Obituaries

Obituary for Eleanor Ruth Connell


Eleanor Ruth Connell, known as "Ellie", of Portland, Michigan passed away peacefully on April 25, 2021 at the age of 97, in Holland, Michigan. Ellie was born in Detroit on July 31, 1923 to Ralph and Alma Jordan. She was married in 1949 to Arthur "Art" Connell, who passed in 1994. She is survived by her two daughters, Dr. Kathleen Connell Peters and Dr. Shannon Connell.


Ellie, a.k.a. Mimi, was a loving grandmother, mother, mother-in-law, aunt, confidante, friend, and excellent player of Rumikub, Bridge and an award winning golf player. Her last golf game was with her nephew Phino at age 95. As a young woman she first demonstrated her sharp intellect and talent for business employed at the top level as an Executive Secretary for Ford Motor Company. During those years she would travel to Chicago and other cities and enjoy the nightlife with her longstanding best friend Helen Wiley. Ellie and Helen were best friends for 88 years, and enjoyed many good times as couples as well. During her long marriage, her entrepreneurial talents were demonstrated as a top sales representative for McCall's Corporation until the age of 86. Her passions included golf, providing advice, love of dogs and the occasional cat, astrology (she herself was a Leo with a touch of Cancer), voracious reading, and fashion, especially designer sales. Ellie also loved classical music and would do housework to Ravel or Tchaikovsky. Andrea Bocelli was her most recent love. She enjoyed her friends at Portland Garden Club and was noted for her beautiful seasonal porch decorations. Her best friends were avid game players who appreciated her shopping skills, especially those who ventured out with her for the good deals! Her impeccable manners complemented her beautiful clothes, she was always a stand-out at every event. Ellie outlived many of her friends but kept them all close, just as she did her family, especially with beautifully handwritten cards. She enjoyed parties and loved the ones her family held in her honor. This "Big City Girl" from Detroit grew to love her town of Portland where everyone knew and admired her.


Ellie was preceded in death by her sister, Gloria "Billie" Myers, brother Donald Jordan, and husband, Arthur Connell. In addition to her daughters, Ellie is survived by her son-in-law Dr. Dave Peters, grandchildren Halley and David Peters, and Seraphino Licastro, nieces Dawn Rhodes and Robin Colleen, nephew Jordan Myers, grandnieces Laurel Rhodes and Maddie Myers, and grandnephews Kyle Rhodes and Zac Myers.


Ellie's private memorial will be Friday, May 21st, 2021 with services at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, in Portland, Michigan and luncheon to follow at the Red Mill. She will be laid to rest next to Art at Glen Eden Memorial Park in Livonia Michigan.


Those wishing to offer expressions of love for their friend, Ellie, are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to the Ionia County Animal Shelter, 3853 Sparrow Drive, Ionia MI. 48846, or the Portland District Library, 334 Kent Street, Portland MI. 48875.


Ellie will be missed dearly - so please take a moment and celebrate her life. Enjoy a Manhattan, the way Tony Rosati used to make 'em specifically for her, and toast a very special woman.

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