Ellen Roller, a long-time resident of Hythe, Alberta, formerly a long-time resident of Chetwynd, BC, passed away in the Chetwynd Hospital on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at the age of 89 years.
She was born Ellen Jane Moyer, September 24, 1930 on a small farm in Farmersville, Ohio. She was the second child of Ray and Alma Moyer and their only daughter. She never talked a lot about her childhood, she grew up in a time when you didn’t waste anything and didn’t take anything for granted.
Ellen married Bobbie F. Roller, November 20, 1948 and it wasn’t long before their first daughter Roberta was born. Then shortly after they had their second daughter Rebecca and their third daughter Rosalinde. And then the girls got themselves a baby brother… Calloway Patton… best known as CP. Ellen had her hands full, but not nearly as full when another daughter came along, Rochelle. Robin came along just after Roberta was in her last year of high school.
Ellen slipped right into the mode of wife and mother, and she was a stray at home mom (very much like the rest of the mothers in the neighborhood). She never had spent much time in the kitchen, but she turned out to be of the best cooks ever. She wasn’t “southern” like Bob, but you wouldn’t know it by the way she cooked. It was always a fun time being with her and her friends having coffee and visiting. She always seemed to love an adventure and stood behind Bob in pretty much everything he ventured into. The biggest adventure was moving to British Columbia in 1967 with their 6 kids. They sold everything they owned but a station wagon and a truck and camper, left their families and made the move.
It seems like she could do anything… sewed clothes for all her kids as they were growing up. She was a Brownie/Girl Guide leader, babysat a little girl in her neighborhood, butchered chickens and never blinked an eye. These things didn’t change either when they moved to Canada…she was more of a pioneer woman that you can imagine. She moved into a house that didn’t have running water or electricity. She had a little wood cook stove that she cooked on and kept water hot. Light was from kerosene lamps. Bob renovated the house and made it modern and comfortable in short order.
As the family started to grow with son in laws and grandkids, Ellen and Bob purchased the farm below the house. It would be a few years before they would move into a mobile home they put on the place and then a few more years after they built their log home. Now all the family and friends could come and sit around the table for special times. There was never a time when the coffee pot wasn’t on and she was welcoming someone for a visit.
Ellen and Bob would travel in the summer to the states to visit family and started going to bluegrass festivals…it wasn’t long before they hosted their own festival on the farm for 10 years making many long and lasting friendships with people all over Canada and the US.
Picture winter 1991. It was going to be the last Christmas in the house as Ellen and Bob had decided to sell the farm next summer. The log house was decorated for Christmas and all of the kids surprised her with an overnight Christmas Eve sleepover for the last time in the farm house. It was one of the best times their family had together under one roof. It was all recorded for posterity and it brings all those memories back just like it was yesterday.
They pulled up and moved that following summer to Hythe, Alberta. Thank goodness it was only a couple hours away and visits could happen fairly often. They moved into a little house that Bob renovated all the while living in it. They bought a second house in Hythe and did the same thing,
renovated it from top to bottom, inside out. They remained there until they moved into the mobile home park to a nice mobile home with a great garage and garden spot for Bob. It had a great deck where Ellen could sit and relax on her porch swing.
In 2013 Ellen had a massive stroke. Being tough, resilient woman she was, three months later she walked out of Grande Prairie hospital. That summer she was right there at the family reunion held especially for her. She loved the family gatherings. In fact, she loved all her family to pieces. Each one held a special place in her heart.
Fast forward to 2017 when they had a family celebration of living in Canada for 50 years. She wasn’t staying home from that…fun, family and food…didn’t want to miss it. Ellen never regretted that move from Ohio…and she was going to be there to celebrate.
Bob started having some health issues and in November 2018 he passed away.They didn’t want to leave her in Hythe by herself because by this time she really couldn’t live on her own. She moved in with Rochelle and Gordie for a short period of time, but decided she wanted to move into Surerus Place. She loved the view from her little kitchen window where she could view her gardening box. She liked bingo nights and learning to play the ukulele. She had a beautiful orchid in her window that she received from Bob’s service and she was amazed almost daily at its beauty.
The summer of 2019 saw a family gathering at Camp Emile up at Moberly. It was a cold weekend, but the fact that she was surrounded by her family, she didn’t even complain once of the cold.
In September of that same year they celebrated her 89th birthday with as many of the family that could come. She loved that. Again, she had her family…fun and food.
She kept wanting to know what her family were doing for Christmas. Robin made plans to come up from Kentucky so they had a small family gathering a few days before Christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas day Robin took her visiting at Bobbie’s, Becky’s, Roz’s and Rochelle’s, and she attended the Red Sweater Service at church on Christmas Eve. It was great to hear her singing harmony during the Christmas Carols.
Everyone was gathered to mourn her death but more importantly to celebrate the full, happy life that she had. She was never afraid to tell a friend or a stranger what a wonderful family she had, and how blessed she felt her life was.
Ellen was predeceased by her parents; Roy and Alma Moyer. Her loving husband; Bob Roller, her son-in-law; David Embree and just a few weeks ago, her only brother, Eugene Moyer.
Ellen was blessed with 13 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
A Funeral Service was held on Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Chetwynd Fellowship Baptist Church, Chetwynd, BC. Pastor Bill Evans officiated. Ellen was laid to rest beside her loving husband, Bob, in the Tuscoola Mountain Cemetery following the service.
For friends so wishing donations may be made in memory of Ellen to Surerus Place, c/o Chetwynd Senior Citizen Housing Society, PO Box 1679, Chetwynd, BC V0C 1J0.
Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium