Ellen (Fitzpatrick) Dander
1930 - 2021
{ "" }
Share Ellen's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Mystic - Ellen Fitzpatrick Dander died Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in her apartment at Masonicare in Mystic, surrounded by her family at the age of 90. She was born Feb. 28, 1930, in Worcester, Mass., the second of two children and only daughter of Charles J. Fitzpatrick and Ellen Crowley Fitzpatrick.

Ellen was raised in East Brookfield, Mass. and graduated from David Prouty High School in Spencer, Mass. She went on to earn her bachelor's degree in education and psychology at Seton Hill College and later her master's degree in reading at University of Connecticut. She taught English at New London High School before starting her family. After being home with her three children, Tim, Sue and David for several years, she returned to teaching. She taught English and was also a guidance counselor at Carl C. Cutler Junior High School in Groton, from 1968 until she retired in 1991.

Ellen met her husband of 66 years, Emanuel "Dan" Dander, while they were both working at the Institute of Living in Hartford, following graduation from college. Ellen and Dan shared a deep commitment to the community of Groton/Mystic. Ellen supported Dan always in his local Democratic political involvement; and she built and nurtured countless meaningful relationships with students and staff alike during her teaching career in Groton. Ellen loved people, loved to entertain and was a master party planner. Perhaps the fourth of July cookouts she hosted with Dan were some of the most memorable of her parties! Friendship was a core value to Ellen and she leaves behind many cherished friends, along with her family. Ellen never stopped and ran circles around all of us! She loved skiing in her younger days and always also loved the beach. She made it a point to sneak away to the Dunes in Westerly, whenever she could. In later years, Ellen and Dan enjoyed many wonderful fun- and friend-filled years in Bradenton, Fla. where they spent winters until just a few years ago.

Ellen leaves behind her husband Dan and their three children; and nine grandchildren: Timothy P. Dander of Yorktown, Va. and his wife Tecie; Sue E. Dander of Westerly and her children: Dorie, Bert, Britta, Hannah, Olivia and Sophia; and David E. Dander of Colchester and his wife Lori and their children, Michelle, Michael and Melissa. In addition, she leaves behind her special great-niece, Arden Dahl; and her special Crowley cousins: Beatrice, Janet, Alice and Barbara. Ellen's brother Charles Fitzpatrick; her niece Bonney Fitzpatrick Dahl; and her nephew Chucky Fitzpatrick predeceased her. Ellen also leaves her very special and devoted goddaughter, Bonnie (Brundage) Cummings of Salem.

Due to COVID-19, a private burial Mass will be held at St. Mary's Church in Groton with a true Celebration of Life at a later date. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Groton Public Library C/O Ellen Dander's Memorial, 52 Newtown Road, Groton, CT 06340.

We would like to thank Masonicare in Mystic and their wonderful staff for their compassion and care over the last three years, together with Eileen Baird who helped to keep Ellen and Dan in their home until just three years ago and also Sandra, Ellen's caretaker, who has been her Angel over the past few difficult weeks. It takes a village and they were all part of Ellen's village. The family invites you to visit www.mysticfuneralhome.com to leave a note of condolence.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Day on Feb. 21, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Mystic Funeral Home - Mystic
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
12 entries
April 8, 2021
I'm a bit late with my note, but I hope family and friends see it. Ellen, or Mrs. Dander, was my 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Cutler. She used to call me "Dan the Man." We both attended St. Mary's Catholic church so I saw her outside of school in the years afterward and I came to think of her as not just a former teacher but a friend. I went out into the world for college, Army service and marriage, but when I came back for visits and saw Ellen at church, she always said Hi and asked how I was doing, what was going on in my life. We started exchanging Christmas cards at some point, and we each always wrote "the Christmas letter" to relate the highlights of the past year in our respective families. I will miss those, and her.
Dan Millbauer
February 26, 2021
So sad to hear that Ellen has passed. Our deepest sympathies to Dan, Sue Ellen and all the family.
Its been many years since we all got together and enjoyed the times at Butler Court in Warwick.
I remember Ellen, MaryLou,Tikey and my mom (Marge) enjoying summer by the pool.
Hopefully they are all back together doing the same.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Mark and Mary Bellandese
Mark Bellandese
February 24, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the Dander family. Ellen was one of he first people to "give me the scoop" when I landed at Cutler Jr High right out of college. She became a mentor, a colleague, a car pool buddy, understanding parent of my students and a family friend and neighbor of my Aunt Betty & Uncle Al . She represented the highest level of professionalism with a quick wit and an endearing smile. She will be missed, knowing she was a positive influence in my life.
Linda Pershaec
February 23, 2021
Mrs Dander as my boys referred to her, I called her Ellen. A person who wore a forever smile, who made you feel cared for and loved. She was a beautiful lady. To her family, we send our love. Elaine, Mark, Jeff, Scott and Chris
Elaine Turner Runkel
February 23, 2021
In loving memory of a wonderful person. I will miss your kind words and support. I went through school with your son David. God bless your entire family.
Steven Victoria
February 21, 2021
My deepest sympathies to the Dander Families I have known Mr Dander from West Side Jr High. Ellen was a good friend of my Mom. Flo Blanco We lived next to The Kolnaski. God Bless You all . Grace Blanco Maguire. Ocala,Fla
Grace Blanco Maguire
February 21, 2021
I was blessed to have Mrs. Dander while at Cutler. She was a wonderful teacher and I have very fond memories of her class. I'm so sorry to hear of her passing and offer my condolences to the family.
David Coxe
February 21, 2021
Our deepest sympathy to Dan and the rest of Ellen's family. Ellen was a special member of the Cutler family as well as a personal friend of our family. Her kindness and support during our friendship will never be forgotten.
Susan, Terry and Jen Hildebrand
Susan Hildebrand
February 21, 2021
Ellen was a wonderful person and teacher. Bing and Carol Bartick
Bing and Carol Bartick
February 21, 2021
We are so sorry to hear this sad news. We taught with Ellen at Cutler Jr. High where she was loved and respected by everyone. She will be missed by all who knew her. Our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
Sue and Steve Durham
February 20, 2021
We are so sorry to hear of Ellen´s passing. She was always so warm and welcoming and was a blessing to know. Our sincere sympathy to her family.
Leslie Durant and Don Aitken
February 20, 2021
We are so sorry to hear of Ellen´s passing. She was the most agreeable and happiest person I have ever known.
Lois and Dave Zeyher
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences