Ellen Pope

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Ellen Savage Pope 69, of Parkersburg, W.Va., died Sept. 24, 2010, at the home of one of her daughters in Charleston, W.Va., after a long, courageous battle with breast cancer. Her family was by her side.

Ellen Amelia Dittman was born March 14, 1941, in Hopewell, Va. She was an historian, librarian, educator and author of both adults' and children's books. She earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Hawaii and was a reference librarian for West Virginia University-Parkersburg at the time of her death.

Ellen loved Alaska, where she lived and worked for many years and always considered it her home. During her years in Alaska, she worked for the Anchorage School District with the SAVE program and at the Eagle River Library.

She spent several months teaching arts and crafts in villages under the auspices of the Aleutian-Pribilof Islands Association and made many friends throughout the islands and the state.

Her great love of history and the desire to keep history alive for future generations led her to develop her own company, History Alive Today. She lived her life pursuing her passions.

An Anchorage friend recalls: "Ellen's creative energy and enthusiasm were so contagious. She was always planning something wonderful."

Above all, she loved her family and friends and never met a stranger.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, Adolph "Charlie" and Mary Ellen Clark Dittman.

She is survived by her four children, Anthony Parsons and his wife, Debbie, of Nome; Angela Ginnett and her husband, Michael, of Anchorage; Nicole Savage and her husband, James Vertin, of Wasilla; and Kimberly Williams of Charleston, W.Va.; her grandchildren, Jennifer Thompson, Allen Ginnett, Jaimen, Jailee, Javell and Joenis Vertin; and her great-grandchildren, Maryssa and Luke Thompson.

A memorial service was held at Ingram Funeral Home in St. Marys, W.Va. A celebration of Ellen's life is planned for next summer at Sheep Mountain.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Nov. 7 to Nov. 8, 2010
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