Ellen Mitchell Graham
February 17, 2021
Ellen Mitchell Graham, at a vibrant and young 70 years, passed away on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 due to Covid-19 complications.
Ellen was known and loved as a devoted Christ follower, wife, mother, grandmother, and even great-grandmother. She is known as "Ellen" to most, "Mom" to a few, and Granna Ri ("Ri" pronounced "rye") to many.
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Reggie Graham. She was endlessly in love with him throughout their lives together. Spending time with him on day trips and while traveling was her favorite thing to do. Her love language was definitely quality time and there was no one that she would rather spend her time with than him.
She is also survived by her mother, Joyce Mitchell, and her three brothers and their spouses, Lynn and Kathy Mitchell, Jerry and Karen Mitchell, and David and Renee Mitchell.
Her father, Marvin Mitchell, passed two weeks before her.
Also left behind on this earth are her three children and their spouses, Kristen Gibson (and husband, Steve), Scott Graham (and wife, Amanda), and Philip Graham (and wife, Marie); as well as sixteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Ellen (Mom) was a strong, but behind the scenes, backbone of her family. She was content to let others take the spotlight. Her quiet, yet supportive demeanor was a perfect complement to Reggie's (Dad's) frequent "shenanigans"; it was in these times that her smile and laughter often became so pronounced. She was willing to do whatever it took to support her husband and our family in work and play. She was truly a silent rock and helper to Reggie. From homemaking, to his much-needed grammar help in his work documents, she was an enormous, but quiet, part of their duo, who was content to work in the background and let others take much of the credit. She was selfless and giving—the epitome of the caring nurturer of the family.
Ellen loved her family and would have done anything for us. She was known for pulling her family together in holiday gatherings, and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the kids/grandkids enjoyed many game nights together. Whether it be Balderdash, Taboo, or Scattergories, her presence brought the family together. It is largely due to her love and hospitality for her kids that so many special family memories, and endless laughs, were made.
One of her favorite things to do was travel with her husband and close friends. Many of these friendships have been dear to her heart for many, many years, she was a faithful and steadfast friend to those who were fortunate enough to know her.
She strived to make her home feel like a home, she was a fabulous decorator with a country/rustic influence, and she prided herself on trying to take meticulous care of her home.
She loved decorating for holidays, especially Christmas.
Other enjoyable activities for her included baking, watching Hallmark movies, playing online word games with best friends, and yearly manager's meetings for her husband's employment, where she cultivated truly special friendships with other managers' wives.
Above all else, she lived by her favorite verse, marked in pink highlighter in her Bible: "The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble" (Psalm 37:39).
She was a longstanding member at Parkway Wesleyan Church. During those years, she served on the office staff on two separate occasions.
We love you, Mom. We are heartbroken that you are not with us here, but eternally grateful that you will never know pain and sadness again. We can smile and have peace in that.
Visitation times with family are to be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 from 2 until 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
A memorial service is to be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 11 a.m.
Both visitation hours and the memorial service are to be held at Parkway Wesleyan Church. Arrangements by Simpson Funeral Home. (540)366-0707
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Published by Roanoke Times on Feb. 21, 2021.