Sartoris, Mary Ellen 8/18/1953 - 10/9/2020 Howard City Mary Ellen Sartoris, 67 years of age, passed away in Howard City, MI on Friday, October 9, 2020 with her family, the Butler family, and beloved dog, Shine, at her side after a short illness. Born in Schenectady, NY, she was educated at St. Joseph's Academy and Notre Dame High School. She graduated from Gannon College (now University) in Erie, PA, completing her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work in three years and she completed her Master's in Social Work at the University of West Virginia, Morgantown. She held many positions in her social work career--caseworker, case manager, supervisor-in various social agencies, focusing on children's protective services, family services and foster placements in Erie, PA, Galesburg, IL, Caribou, ME, Milwaukee, WI and Grand Rapids, MI. Most recently, Mary Ellen was an assistant professor in Western Michigan University's School of Social Work, Grand Rapids campus. She was predeceased by her parents, Jim and Winnie Sartoris, of Schenectady, NY. Mary Ellen leaves behind her siblings: John (Linda) of Clifton Park, NY; James (Gwen) of Fairport, ME; Joseph (Ann) of Cambridge, NY; her sister, Margaret (Steven) Snyder of Ballston Lake, NY; her twin sister, Winifred (Kathleen Thackham) of South Milwaukee, WI and Marjorie Adrian of Tomball, TX; six nephews and a niece; eight great-nephews and nieces, and many friends and colleagues. Fulfilling her request, there will be no funeral services for Mary Ellen and her remains will be cremated. Donations in her name can be made to the Sheldon House, 201 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (www.sheldonhouse.net/donate
); Western Michigan University School of Social Work (www.secure.wmualumni.org/s/give
); or Humane Society of Western Michigan (www.hswestmi.org
) Mary Ellen impacted many lives through her chosen career and also through her volunteer work that ranged from staffing rape crisis hotlines, Habitat for Humanity builds, charity road races and half-triathlons, giving her financial, time and talent support to numerous social service and charitable organizations, including, most recently, her position as Chair of the Executive Board of the Sheldon House in Grand Rapids. She loved living in the country, her long walks with her dogs, a good book to read and cooking her special recipes for others. The Sartoris family wishes to thank the staff of the fifth and fourth floor ICUs of the Meijer Heart Center of Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids and the Spectrum Hospice team for their compassionate care and concern for Mary Ellen. The family especially appreciates the Butler family--Todd, Gale and Anita--for their affection and support of Mary Ellen over the years, and especially during her illness.