Ellen Ann Gregg, 93, of Missoula, MT passed into eternity with her Lord Jesus, on Sept 30, 2021 at home from natural causes.
She was born in Pierre, South Dakota on 6/15/1928 to Leroy Herrman and Hazel Heiens Herrman, during the dawn of the depression until they had to make the life changing decision to move west to start again. Her family moved to Nyssa, Oregon where they restarted their dairy farm. Her father chose an area with new irrigation from the Owyhee Dam, which created a productive valley for farmers.
Ellen was blessed with amazing siblings: Keith (Anna) Herrman, Angela (Fred) Flory, Harriet (Colin) Hamberg, and Ruth (Duane) Buchtel. They gave her generous love and support throughout her life, remaining a close family. She was also blessed with extraordinary nieces and nephews across the country.
After graduating from Nyssa High School, Ellen then went to Eastern Oregon University and earned an emergency certificate to teach elementary education. She taught in Bend, Redmond, Madras, Everett, Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Ronan, MT, and Nyssa.
Ellen met her future husband, Norman Joseph Gregg, in Bend, OR and they were married in Nyssa on August 17, 1952. She was engaged for one week (wanting to be married before she started teaching that fall) after her older sister Harriet and Colin’s wedding in Michigan. They were married 21 years. Ellen and Norm had 4 children: Brent (deceased 2016), Monte from Ronan, Ann Gregg Ross (Tom) from Missoula, and Kelly (Gwyn) from Connell, WA. Grandchildren include Shana (Kyle) Marx, Tammy (Chris) Hagen, Carrie Jochim, Michelle Gregg, Karmen Gregg, Jenni Gregg, Thomas Ross and Andrew Ross, and several great grandchildren, including Finn Marx.
After living in the Pacific NW in the 1960s, the family moved to Ronan, MT to start a new venture in grocery store ownership with friends, Dick and Joan Brown. They also bought a farm and Ellen continued to be part of running it, with Monte managing.
After Norm passed in 1973, she returned to full time teaching while completing her degree, managing the store, farming, and raising challenging kids as a single mom. Though she enjoyed farming/ranching it came with bittersweet memories. She had amazing resilience and determination, with God’s grace, and support from her family, to provide for her family and restart her dream to teach again.
In 1980 she finished her teaching degree and returned to the Nyssa home farm with sister, Ruth and family. Ellen then moved into town in 1989, and then to Missoula in 2009.
Ellen was an avid gardener, landscaper, nature lover, rock hound, reader, prayer warrior, singer, lover of music, follower of the news, elections, football, baseball, and golf. When teaching she was not only rigorous with the three Rs, but encouraged the arts, becoming teacher of the year. She was instrumental in bringing the Missoula Children’s Theatre to Nyssa.
Ellen enjoyed creating parties, even having a farm mortgage burning party with family and friends to share the great occasion. She and her sister Ruth, with the help of Duane, had elegant tea parties. Mom has the reputation for ensuring fun in events; family reunions, bridge player, member of garden clubs, teachers sorority, traveling with her sisters, trips in her little RV, and adventuring overseas with her family/friends. Ellen had great joy in freedom of driving the open road, as her great escape to new horizons. Ellen came to Australia for 10 weeks, vacationing into the outback with Ann and Tom, while awaiting birth of her first grandson.
Mom took great loving care of her family, friends, church and colleagues. She followed Jesus and was a member in many churches; most recently in the United Methodist Church in Nyssa and Free Methodist church in Missoula.
The family sends heartfelt thanks to all the friends, family, medical providers, church family, and caregivers. We especially thank Tammy Weingart, for being a kind, generous, and thoughtful neighbor and caregiver for over 9 years. She was Jesus’ hands many times over for mom.
If desired, memorial gifts may be directed to Pinehaven Children’s Ranch, P.O. Box 940, St. Ignatius, MT 59865 or Jonathan’s House CAR, P.O. Box 480, Wheaton, IL 60187. These ministries offer housing, education, food and medical assistance to children in the US and Africa.
Burial has taken place at the Ronan, MT cemetery on October 4, 2021.
There will be a celebration of life, officiated by Dave and Becky Hamilton, at Valley Christian School, Missoula on October 16th, at 11:00 A.M.