Alleyna Lucinda McGrath Ellis of Kingston was born in Burrville on Dec. 28, 1937. After a brief illness, she passed from this Earth on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Chattanooga.
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She was a member of Kingston United Methodist Church.
After graduating from Sunbright High School, she attended nursing school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis, graduating in 1958. While at UT in Memphis, she played basketball for the 1950s version of the Lady Vols. She was the third of five generations of her family to attend the University of Tennessee. She was the second of what will be four generations of her family to be a registered nurse.
Her first nursing job was at Oak Ridge Methodist Hospital. She combined two of life's most noble professions when she began teaching nursing at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. From there, she moved to St. Mary's Hospital nursing program and in 1967 she began a long tenure of teaching nursing at Cleveland State Community College. She retired from teaching at Cleveland State in 1993, but not from nursing. She worked as a nurse until just a few months before her death, most recently at Roane Medical Center. Her nursing and teaching careers spanned more than 54 years. Not only was she able to care for thousands of patients, she helped train several generations of East Tennessee nurses. She had a special place in her heart for pediatrics, and she passed this love on to many students. She has seen her chosen profession evolve profoundly during the seven decades in which she practiced it. She carried on a tradition which started with her mother and inspired her daughter and granddaughter.
The only thing that surpassed her love of caring for others was the love for her family. She was happily married and devoted to the love of her life, Lewis Ellis, until his death in 2004. She took enormous pleasure and felt tremendous pride in the lives of her children, Christie and Chip. She adored and delighted in her grandchildren and the growing number of great-grand children. She lovingly supported her children in their lives endeavors â€" loving them through the ups and downs, provided wise advice and thoughtful counsel. She loved her brother, sister-in-law and her many nieces and nephews.
Having grown up on a farm, she gained a lifelong love of animals and passed that love on to her children, but especially her son, Chip. At one time or the other around her house could be found many dogs, cats, birds, horses, chickens, roosters, cows, bulls, donkeys and ponies. If there was a stray anywhere near, she would gladly make it a generous and welcome home.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Wilmoth and George McGrath; and her husband Lewis "Snuffy" Ellis.
She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, George and Pat McGrath; her daughter, Christie Farinash; her son, Lewis M. "Chip" Ellis (Lori); her grandchildren, Lt. Joseph Farinash (Sharon), Tyler Ellis (Whittney), Sheena Miller (Kory) and Rebecca Farinash; nieces and nephews too numerous to name; her growing bevy of great-grandchildren; her one-eyed beagle dog, Charlie; and her favorite son-in-law, Jerry. She loved all of them more than they will ever know.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in Kyker Funeral Home, Kingston, with the funeral service to follow. She will be buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Burrville, at 2 p.m. Friday Oct. 26.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks to consider either an animal shelter of the donor's choosing or Mount Vernon Cemetery, 394 Burville School Road, Sunbright, TN 37872. www.kykerfuneralhome.com
Published in Roane County News from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, 2012