Obituary: Ellen Ann Smith Tyrrell, 1931-2017, Montpelier | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Ellen Ann Smith Tyrrell, 1931-2017, Montpelier

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Ellen Tyrrell
  • Ellen Tyrrell

Ellen Tyrrell, beloved wife of the late Vincent E. “Gene” Tyrrell for sixty two years, passed away peacefully, Wednesday, January 3rd, 2017 at UVM Medical Center in Burlington. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on November 3rd 1931 to Ralph P. and Anna (Franko) Smith, Ellen was raised in a progressive middle class household and graduated from Bassick High School in 1949. She married Gene in 1952. In 1958 they became Fairfield residents and as a homemaker she raised seven sons. Ellen knew many local families and formed many friendships among which she enjoyed entertaining and nights on the town dancing with her husband. She loved children and advising youth; studying psychology, and working as an advisor in the Guided Learning Program at Roger Ludlowe High School, and as a Librarian Assistant at Fairfield University. Well read, and curious, Ellen loved her SundayTimes, the Metropolitan Museum, and visits to her Brother in Greenwich Village. She had a passion for landscape and history, and enjoyed exposing her sons to the athletic and cultural offerings of Fairfield, New York and New England.

In 1984, her mothering career complete, Ellen relocated to begin a new life for herself and Gene in Montpelier. Working in the public schools until retirement in 1996, Ellen became active in civic causes, including the Vermont League of Women Voters, the Montpelier Housing Task Force, and as an honored member of both the Central Vermont Council on Aging, and Washington County Mental Health Services. She made her voice known on a range of issues, and was a devoted supporter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders; participating in many of his local dinners and rallies. For two decades Ellen served as a Docent Guide for the Friends of the Vermont State House Tours in Montpelier. She loved Vermont's capitol city and shopping in Burlington, exploring Lake Champlain, attending Bread & Puppet Theatre, the Turnbridge Fair, and visits to her son's farm in nearby Worcester. A smart dresser, Ellen enjoyed Fashion and Astrology (departing during the waxing Moon between Venus and Mars). Despite recent immobility she led a spry and active life. A parishioner and volunteer of St Augustine Parish in Montpelier, Ellen was a fun, kind, adventurous, intellectually, curious and above all caring spirit who was deeply loved by all. She will be very dearly missed.

Predeceased by her husband in 2014, Ellen is survived by her seven loving sons, David and his wife Susan of Breckenridge, CO, Thomas, of Conifer, CO, Robert, and his wife, Heleen, of Milford, CT, William and his partner Brenda Vernile and her son Kaiden, of Worcester, VT, Matthew of Fairfield, CT, Michael and his wife Sandra Vieira of Providence, RI, and Christopher, of Black Rock, CT. Also, her elder sister, Margaret “Marge” Kulhay of Fairfield, Brother in-law William Tyrrell and his wife Jeanette of Farmington, CT, ten beloved grandchildren: Justin, Andrew, Hayley, Kendall, Dylan, Marney, Tucker, Laura, and Ethan (all Tyrrells), Julia Tyrrell Jacoby, a Great Granddaughter, Adriel Tyrrell, and many beloved nieces and nephews. Ellen was predeceased by her brother, Ralph Smith of Long Boat Key, FLA, and a grandchild, Carly Tyrrell of Fairfield. Friends are invited to attend a Mass of Chris tian Burial in the spring on Friday May, 26th 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Augustine's Church, Montpelier, Vermont. Interment to follow at 1:00pm in the Vermont Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, Randolph, VT. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Ellen's memory to the Central Vermont Council on Aging, 59 North Main Street, Suite 200, Barre, VT 05641, or The Friends of the Vermont State House, 9 Baldwin Street, Montpelier, VT 05633.

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