Katherine Louise Ellison

June 17, 1922 - October 22, 2015
Three Rivers, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Your local Humane Society


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
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Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Katherine Louise Ellison, it is easy to see that her life was all about family and faith. Katherine led a life of compassion, humility, love and dedication; her servants heart impacted those that knew her in so many ways. She was always positive with a smile and kind word to share. She was deeply devoted to her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Katherine was a woman of faith, and it was her faith that served as the moral compass she used to direct her steps. No matter what came her way, she could always find the good, even when the storms of life came her way. She was always positive with a smile and kind word to share. Although she will be deeply missed, Katherine leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

James Luther and Katherine Mae (Harley) Skaggs were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as the 1922 summer covered the city of Joplin, Missouri. Their wait was over on June 17th when the baby girl they named Katherine Louise drew her first breath. She experienced an idyllic childhood filled with a close family in a loving home where she was raised alongside her two dear sisters, Francis and Mary Ann. Katherine learned valuable cooking and sewing skills; she was instilled with love and nurturing skills by her mother that she would later instill in her own children. She attended local schools and played the violin and was also in the drum and bugle corps in high school. After high school, Katherine worked as a telephone operator.

At fourteen, Katherine met the love of her life, Frederick Ellison, and the two were nearly inseparable. With a desire to establish a life together, Katherine and Frederick were married in Joplin, Missouri on August 1, 1942. Together they were blessed to welcome five children into their life: Frederick David, Katherine Eleanor, Mary Francis, Harry Thomas, and Elizabeth Leora. Frederick and Katherine worked hard to provide a happy life for their family. Harry worked at General Motors to provide for his family, while Katherine stayed home to tend to the home and children. From the moment she became a mother, Katherine made it seem effortless; she was an amazing wife and mother who was also an amazing homemaker. As a family, they looked forward to a vacation every year while the kids were young; together they traveled all over the United States including out West and throughout Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Katherine would always have a picnic packed and a comfy bed for the kids made in the car.

As her family continued to grow with grandchildren and eventually great grandchildren, these same traditions continued and held the family's bond. Katherine continued to prove that family was the cornerstone of her life. Katherine had a way of making every event special and memorable. For years Katherine was the one who held all the family gatherings. Sunday dinner was always very important in the Ellison family and Katherine always had delicious homemade meals prepared at a perfectly set table for her family to gather around. Christmas was always a special event as it brought the entire family together. Katherine always had a beautifully decorated home, complete with a revolving tree with lovely wrapped gifts underneath and a large variety of scrumptious baked goods. Katherine’s baking was fantastic and she always made a beautiful box of cookies, beautifully wrapped, to give to her childrens' bus drivers and teachers. Katherine also made the county fair special by making the kids a delicious picnic to take along. In addition to caring for her family, Katherine kept busy in other ways.

Faith played an important role, throughout her life, Katherine was very dedicated to her Lord and her church. She taught Sunday School and served as Missionary President. She loved cats and also had Pekinese dogs, and to keep busy she enjoyed crocheting, needlework and sewing. In addition, she was a fan of Frank Sinatra and Carol Burnett.

She always had a gentle way of tending to her family's needs, from singing lullabies, to scratching backs to cleaning up scraped knees. Katherine taught her daughters to act like ladies and often shared the anecdote, "pretty is as pretty does." Katherine taught her boys to be respectful. Of course, she was always backed up by Harry and would often through in the phrase, "just wait until your father gets home!"

She made life fun too, she was always making up little songs and finding fun ways to entertain the children. And who can forget, "oh fiddlesticks!" Katherine loved to laugh. A memorable example would be when Frederick was working on a project and got a drill caught and bound in his pants. As his pants wound tighter, Katherine could offer no assistance as she was laughing so hard. Or the time that she was chatting with Liz and Mary on the front porch. Mary and Katherine were seated in the porch swing which broke and sent them to the floor. Katherine never missed a beat, just kept on with her story laying on her back with her feet in the air until all three couldn't hold back and fell into a fit of laughter.

All who knew Katherine Ellison would agree that she was one of the sweetest people around. She was bubbly and outgoing with a great sense of humor and the most amazing laugh. Selfless and loving, Katherine’s devotion to her loved ones was unmatched, and it was when surrounded by her family that she was truly happy. She will never be forgotten, and her legacy will be proudly carried on by those who follow in her footsteps.

Katherine L. Ellison, of Three Rivers, died on Thursday, October 22, 2015. Katherine’s children includes her five children: Dave (Julie)Ellison, of Three Rivers; Katherine Eleanor (Donald) Kereston, of WV; Mary Francis Johnson, of WV; Harry Thomas Ellison, of MI; Elizabeth Leora (Ronald) Chapman, of KY; 19 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; and two sisters: Mary Ann Bungerz, of PA; Frances “Sissy” Stearns, of NM. Katherine was preceded in death by her husband, Harry. Please visit Katherine Louise’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign her guestbook, share a memory, and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to your local humane society.