Elizabeth McGill Ellis was born in Oakdale Pennsylvania in August of 1935. She grew up on a hilltop farm that is now part of the property belonging to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Beth grew up enjoying the bounty of farm life and home-grown produce, the foundation of her life-long passion for good food, lovingly prepared.

She and her sister, Peggy, attended Oakdale High School, where their mother and aunt were teachers. After high school, Beth left the farm to major in speech at Westminster College, in New Wilmington PA. It was during rehearsals for college theater productions that she met her husband, Alan Ellis.

For their entire life together, Al and Beth enjoyed theater, both on stage and behind the scenes. Beth was instrumental in starting and leading drama ministries in three different churches over the years. Most recently, she started a drama group at Tel Hai Retirement Community. She passed her love of theater on to her daughters and grandchildren, including fond memories of summer Shakespeare festivals from Texas to Pennsylvania to Canada.

She also invested time in mentoring others to lead and produce dramas. Her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm for good acting have helped those she mentored, including her daughters, to direct high school plays, lead drama teams, and teach creative dramatics to children with autism.

Beth was best known for her gifts of cooking and hospitality—skills she passed on to her all children and grandchildren. She poured her love into cooking for others, from family dinners to large retreats. She enjoyed hosting parties for family and friends. She also enjoyed hosting missionary families, many of whom looked forward to returning to her home year after year.

Beth’s kitchen was filled with mouth-watering aromas, laughter, spices from around the world, and shelves of well-thumbed cookbooks. One of her favorite activities was to spend an afternoon in a flour-filled kitchen, teaching many a youngster (and a few oldsters) the fine points of making pie crust, bread, or chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Although she was an accomplished cook who enjoyed the cuisines of many cultures, the dish her grandchildren loved the most was her grilled cheese sandwiches—made with her home-baked bread, of course.

Beth is survived by her three daughters, Lisa Betz of Morgantown, PA; Jodi Ellis of Dillon, CO; and Megan Frazier of Kingwood, TX. She was blessed with four grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 14 at Hopewell Church in Elverson, PA. Family greeting time at 10 am. Service begins at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden or Holt International.

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I have many fond memories of Mom Ellis’ hospitality, particularly in her kitchen. I credit her and Dad with a few things in my life; laying the foundation for my faith in Jesus Christ, an appreciation for classical music and show tunes, encouraging me to not be hesitant about trying food that I was unfamiliar with to name just a few things. She always encouraged me to be the very best version of myself. I love her and will miss no longer having the opportunity to pick up the phone and call, but I am looking forward to a day when I know I will see her and Dad Ellis again. My condolences to the Ellis women and their families. Your parents were some of the finest people I have known and I thank you for sharing them when we were kids! Much love to you all; you will continue to be in my prayers.

~ Sheila Isham Oldsmar , Fl
8/29/2023 3:58:26 PM

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