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Patricia Mench "Pat" Ellis Ph.D.

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Patricia Mench "Pat" Ellis Ph.D. Obituary
Patricia Mench

Ellis, Ph.D.


Beloved spouse, mother, and sister, Pat was born in Rochester, NY on March 6, 1949 and departed this life on February 17, 2013. She was preceded in death by her parents John Warren Mench and Doris Welker Mench of Rochester, NY. Pat is survived by her husband of 33 years David E. Ellis of Newark, DE; her children Katherine A. Ellis of Washington, D.C. and John C. Ellis of Westminster, CO, her brother John W. Mench of Spencerport, NY, and a number of nieces and nephews and their families.

Pat attended the public schools in Greece, NY, graduated from the University of Rochester in 1970, earned a Masters Degree from Duke University in 1972, and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1985. She specialized in the formation and alteration of coral reef deposits, and enjoyed scuba diving in the Bahamas, Indonesia, and the Philippines. She enjoyed flying hot air balloons while she was a student in Texas.

Pat spent most of her distinguished career working for the State of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection where she quickly rose to the highest technical rank. She specialized in the cleanup of ground water which has been contaminated by leaking underground petroleum storage tanks. She was nationally known for her work on gasoline additives, was a member of the US Blue Ribbon Panel that banned MTBE in favor of ethanol in gasoline, and taught continuing education classes on her skills all around the US.

Pat was an avid quilter and a long-term member of the Ladybugs Quilt Guild. She enjoyed exhibiting her quilts in shows, and had her quilts exhibited in the lobbies of prominent local businesses. She loved her pet cats and spoiled them as much as possible. Pat loved to travel and spent time in the Caribbean, Europe, India, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Egypt.

A memorial service celebrating Pat's life will be held March 8th, 2013 at 11am at Deerfield Country Club, located at 507 Thompson Station Road, Newark, DE 19711. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Pat can be sent to the PKD Foundation (

For online condolences, please visit


(302) 478-7100

Published in The News Journal from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2013
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