Erin Ellis, 44, of Williamsburg, passed away on March 1, 2020, after being diagnosed in January with GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumor). She was born in Williamsburg on August 13, 1975, to Ward and Geri Ellis. She graduated from Lafayette High School in 1993 and from the College of William and Mary in 1997. She recently completed a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Capella University and set off on a new career as the prevention director for Bacon Street Youth and Family Services.
Erin celebrated all that life had to offer. She was just like her dad in that she loved to entertain and to celebrate every holiday with Halloween being a favorite. Her Halloween parties included pumpkin carving contests, and Erin could be counted on during the season to come up with face make-up that made her unrecognizable, even to her children. Christmastime included another party with caroling in her neighborhood. She was also an artist and loved creating handmade gifts for the people she loved.
As a youngster, her summers were spent at the neighborhood pool splashing around or practicing for swim team with her friends and her sister. As a child and later with her own children, she loved her family’s annual vacations, and was thrilled to go anywhere including Germany, Hawaii, any place with a beach, or Disney World. The high point of any summer was her family’s Toano Toad Derby, a huge party with pie-eating contests, tractor surfing, and often a pig roast. Her wonderful memories of her childhood impacted her decision to move back to Williamsburg and raise her children here.
At Lafayette, she was very active and had the pleasure of being the principal’s kid. She played field hockey, was a wrestling team manager one year, and was selected to attend Virginia’s German Academy. She loved theater, and her senior year, she had the lead role of Maria in the school production of “The Sound of Music.”
She followed both of her parents to William and Mary where she majored in German. Erin met many of her college friends rowing crew as well as her future husband. She also worked as a resident assistant.
After graduating from college, she set off for adventure and spent the summer after graduation teaching English in Japan. After returning to the states, her adventure continued as she lived and worked for two years in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and explored out west. She then headed back to Virginia where she taught German in Alexandria at Episcopal High School. After starting her family, she returned to Williamsburg. This past summer, along with her mother, sister, and children, Erin lead the way on an RV adventure to the Grand Canyon and up into Wyoming where she had lived.
Everyone who knew Erin celebrated her love of life and her thoughtfulness and generosity. She loved her children and centered her life around them. She loved living near family and creating memories around every birthday and holiday. And she loved animals, rescuing numerous dogs and cats and giving a home to a pig and ferrets.
Erin is survived by her three children, Audrey, Adam, and Heidi, her mother, Geri Ellis, her sister, Elizabeth Ellis, her uncle and aunt, Drew Ellis and Judy Kinshaw-Ellis, all of James City County, her aunt, Janet King, of Florida, and three first cousins. She is also survived by an enormous circle of life-long friends. She was predeceased by her father, Ward Ellis.
Visitation will be at Bucktrout Funeral Home, Williamsburg, Saturday, March 7, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at St. Olaf Catholic Church on Friday, March 13, 11 a.m.