Pauline Ellison

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Pauline (Risner) Ellison, age 91, went to be with her Lord, peacefully on Sunday morning, October 1, 2023, surrounded by her loving family, in her residence at The Porches of Gaylord, after being a resident of Gaylord, MI, for fifty-three years.

A devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandma, and great-grandma, Pauline (nicknamed Penn) was born in Gage, Kentucky, to Ashland and Della (Craft) Risner on November 20, 1931.  Family history shows she got her nickname because she was so small that they carried her around on a pillow.  Third of seven children, she attended school at Rousseau in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

The family moved to Jackson, MI, in 1944, before settling in Stockbridge, MI.  Pauline was a hard worker, even at a young age.  She left school to start working to help support her parents and siblings.  She was self-motivated and extremely responsible.  She was known for her even-tempered nature, unselfishness, kindness, and generosity.  These traits followed her throughout her life.  Pauline held many jobs in her youth. She worked in a floral shop, a factory, and as a nursing assistant in the operating room at Foote Hospital in Jackson, MI.  She was very proud of her work at the hospital, which came easily because of her natural caretaking and passion for helping others.

Pauline married the love of her life, George H. Ellison Jr., on August 18, 1956.  They resided in Mason, MI before moving to Lansing, MI.  They both agreed on a large family, and with eight children, and one on the way, they decided to take a leap of faith and move to Gaylord, MI in 1970.  After they moved their family to Gaylord, George continued to work in Lansing.  Pauline happily continued to mother their nine children during the week, with George coming home on the weekends.

Pauline was an extraordinary mother, she tended to her children’s every need, attended numerous sporting events, and 4-H meetings, and drove her children all over the countryside.  Somehow, she also managed to find time to volunteer in her community and help neighbors in need.  Pauline also made sure that every night there was a homemade meal on the table.

Gardening, canning, sewing, and baking were not just hobbies for Pauline, they were essential to her family’s everyday life.  She found peace and joy in reading the Bible, attending church, and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Roger (Julie) Ellison, Darlene (Daniel) Wandrie, Phillip (Deborah) Ellison, David (Geriann) Ellison, Scott (Deborah) Ellison, Susan (John) Walters, Danny (Dawn) Ellison, Diana (Mark) Dunshee, and Vickie (Jimmy) Carpenter; her grandchildren, Nathan (Brianne) Ellison, Erik Wandrie, Megan (Mike) Sullivan, Alyssa Ellison, Andrew Wandrie, April Honeycutt, Amanda (Andrew) Ellison, Aubrey Dunshee, Krista (Jorden) Koszegi, Sara Ellison, Emily (Bryan) Ellison, Danielle (Justin) Ellison, Hannah Ellison, Geoffery (Kelly) Carpenter, and Nicholas Dunshee; her great-grandchildren, Maddi, Macy and Maverick Sullivan, David and McKenna Honeycutt, and Ava Mae Field; her brother, Markus (Janet) Risner; her sister-in-law, Arnette Risner; and brother-in-law, Jerry Armstrong.

She was preceded in death by her parents; the love of her life, husband, George Jr.; and siblings, Earl (Marlese) Risner, Kathryn (Harley) Cavender, Robert Risner, and Elmus Armstrong.

Pauline will be remembered for her kindness, strong belief in God, work ethic, and love of her family.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. from the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church.  Visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home on Friday, October 6, 2023, from 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at the Gaylord Evangelical Free Church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.

A luncheon will follow the services at the Gaylord Eagles Hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

11 comments on “Pauline Ellison”

  1. Dear Sue, Sisters, Brothers, In-Laws and Out-Laws…
    Pauline Ellison was a wonderful women, full of love and devotion for her family. My time with her was brief; but her beauty and good spirit were evident to the mere bystander.
    I’d hope you find comfort and consolation in your memories and stories of a life very-well-lived. I trust time will be kind to each of you.
    Lance Weyeneth – Friend.

  2. Jennifer (Semke) Lyons

    Vickie & Family,
    I offer you all my condolences on your Moms passing. As a kids I would pedal my bike past your house on the way to see a friend and remember Ms. Pauline always with a friendly wave & kind smile. May she rest in peace. God bless.

  3. Peace and light Pauline. She was a lovely woman and I loved chatting with her on Sunday when she came in to get her newspaper at 7-11. Prayers for her family.

  4. Ursula Prusakiewicz

    To the Ellison family. Our condolences in the death of your mother.

    Love and prayers to all the family.

    Ursula and Alex

  5. Arnete and Melissa Risner

    Penn was such a remarkable person. Bob and I visited her frequently when we were in Gaylord for the summers. She was a gracious person who took loving care of her family. She will be greatly missed by them and all who knew her gentle heart. May she rest in peace with her beloved George and brothers and sisters who have passed before her. Our sincerest condolences to her family.

  6. Don & Phyllis Boughner

    A very special mother devoted to assisting her husband and taking care of nine children while passing on Christian values. Always had a beautiful garden Rest in peace Pauline 🌸

  7. I’m so glad I got to know Pauline, and some of her wonderful children. She certainly gave them a good example of work ethic and dedication to family. She was loving and wise and will be deeply missed.

  8. My mother Patty remembers Pauline with fondness. They sat together in the bleachers watching basketball (Larry Stuck and her son Roger). She gave mom and her sisters permission to pick raspberries in her prized patch. I will always remember her kindness and see her lovely smile. Our sympathy to your entire family.

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