Age 78, passed away March 23, 2018 at Bronson Hospital following complications related to back surgery. Ellen was born November 27, 1939 in Des Moines, Iowa the daughter of John and Dorothy Bermingham. She moved with her family to Kalamazoo at an early age and had spent most of her life living and working in Kalamazoo. Her parents and younger brother, Patrick, preceded her in death. She is survived by a brother, Arthur of Rialto, CA. Also surviving are two long-time friends, Arvida Price and Deborah Bigelow. Ellen was an integral part of both families. As a resident of Kalamazoo, Ellen graduated from Nazareth Academy for high school, and then attended and graduated from the Mercy School of Practical Nursing in Cadillac, Michigan. She worked as a licensed practical nurse for 17 years. While working as an LPN, Ellen was drawn by her love for children to obtain a degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University. She taught for 34 years at Lincoln, Greenwood and Milwood Elementary Schools in the Kalamazoo Public School District. "Children learn what they live" is an old saying and as a teacher Ellen provided a rich environment for learning by doing it in a warm, loving manner. She wanted her students to feel love, self-worth, respect and success. She was dedicated, caring and committed to meet her students' needs any way possible. She also nurtured the sense of belonging for her kids. A unique way she did this for her many classes of second graders was to buy everyone in the entire class a red T-shirt emblazoned with "Milwood Superstars Room 106". She treated her students to a variety of wonderful extracurricular activities...even overnight camping trips. Ellen had many interests during her life and pursued each one with great zeal and depth of interest. She loved art, drawing, painting, photography, reading Stephen King novels, all things COKE, Harry Potter and playing chess. Upon retiring from teaching in 2002, Ellen volunteered to read and discuss her love of the saga of Harry Potter with small groups of 5th grade Potter enthusiasts. Ellen also taught these students how to play chess. A gathering of her teaching colleagues was held to share favorite memories of Ellen. Her unique sense of humor and generous spirit will not be forgotten. According to her wishes, cremation has occurred. No formal services are planned. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo Boys and Girls Club or Kalamazoo Community in Schools Foundation. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.