Ellen Marie Gilbert Shurtleff, age 85, a resident of Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, KS entered into eternal life peacefully surrounded by her husband and family after a short illness on Friday, September 5, 2020.
Ellen was born March 28, 1935 to Walter and Ellen Gilbert in Flushing Long Island, NY. She graduated from Enfield High School in Enfield, NH and from the University of New Hampshire with an English Education degree. She was a member of the PHI MU Sorority and she enjoyed reading countless pages of Shakespeare.
Ellen married her middle school sweetheart William (Bill) Shurtleff March 23, 1957 in their beloved hometown of Enfield. After a brief honeymoon in Niagara Falls, Bill whisked his new wife to Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA where she taught first grade among her newest southern friends. Her first child, Lori, was born on base and three months later the tiny family headed north and moved to Rochester, NH where she began teaching kindergarten in their home. Her son Bill was born in 1960 followed by another son Brian who arrived seven years later.
This busy hockey Mom served on PTA committees and was Chairperson of Education at the First United Methodist Church and participated on a variety of church boards.
Mrs. Shurtleff again trekked across the country following her husband Bill this time to Overland Park, KS where she continued to be an active volunteer among her family and friends.
Tallgrass Creek became her new home where she joined the efforts of many to enlarge the library for all residents. She played 100’s of hands of Bridge, was charged with designing seasonal window displays and volunteered at the Treasure Chest. Ellen surrounded herself for 40 years at Valley View United Methodist Church with friends and strangers who were friends in Christ in numerous ministry opportunities to witness as “Jesus with on.”
Her favorite pastime, KU Men’s Basketball, filled her winter/spring days. Her arena seat was in front of the big screen TV where she could coach from afar. Ellen wore the KU garb with pride as she cheered her Jayhawks on to victory!
Ellen is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, her daughter Lori Day (Thomas) of Frankston, TX and her sons William (Susie) of Olathe, KS and Brian (Lisa) of DeSoto, KS. She was a devoted grandmother to ten grandchildren of whom she was extremely proud –
Bill McCunniff (Kate), Waco, TX
Sara Joyce (Robert), Northville, MI
Mark McCunniff (Jenny), Waco, TX
Matthew Day (Molly), Bentonville, AR
Daniel Day (Noelle), Austin, MN
Taylor Shurtleff (Tahnee), Wichita, KS
Eliza Shurtleff, Overland Park, KS
Olivia Shurtleff, Pittsburg, KS
Hunter Shurtleff, DeSoto, KS
Griffen Shurtleff, Burleson, TX
Great Grammie Shurtleff had a Bakers Dozen (13) of great grandchildren with whom she voluntarily shared her ice cream:
Wesley, Bailey and Molly McCunniff
Caroline and Mark Joyce
Thomas, Maddie Grace, and “December baby to be” McCunniff
Isabelle, Eva and James Day
Willa and Ridge Shurtleff
Ellen was also a “sister-in-love” to Jane Gilbert of Rye, NH and Lois Gilbert of Hollis, NH and a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews from the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, and Bermuda.
She was proceeded in death by her parents and two very special younger brothers Bruce and Gary Gilbert of New Hampshire. Also preceded in death by a son-in-law Thomas McCunniff of Lubbock, TX
In lieu of flowers donations of love for Ellen may be made to:
Church of the Resurrection of Overland Park “Children’s Ministries”, 8412 W. 95th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212.
Donate books or contributions to your local library in Ellen Shurtleff’s name.
To view service by "Live Streaming" visit cor.org/overlandpark/memorialsonline