Frances “Fran” H. Ellis, age 85, née Haldeman, of Watchung, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 24, 2022, with her family by her side. Born in Philadelphia on September 25, 1936, she moved to North Plainfield, NJ in 1951 and attended North Plainfield High School. Upon graduation she attended Gettysburg College transferring to the nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1959.
Returning to NJ after graduation, she was employed by the Visiting Nurse Association of Plainfield for 40 years. Her love of public health showed in all her interactions with her patients and their families. She then became a school nurse for the Holy Family Academy in Bound Brook where she loved the children who would come “visit” her in the nurse's office. After many years, she retired and became a substitute nurse in the Watchung and Warren schools.
Fran met the love of her life, Albert S. Ellis, at NPHS. They dated in high school and throughout college and were married on October 29, 1960, in Morrisville, PA. They lived in Plainfield before moving to Watchung in 1963.
Fran was continually active in her community. She served on the Watchung Board of Health for over 40 years and was the representative of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission. As active members of Wilson Memorial Church, Fran and Al were recently recognized for their decades of service organizing the Covenant Blood Drives with St. Mary's Stony Hill Catholic Church. Donors would come to give blood just to enjoy some of Fran’s banana bread. Not one for the spotlight, she was often the support “behind the scenes” for the Watchung Valley Players in the 1960s-70s. She and Al were members of the Watchung C.E.R.T. formed after Superstorm Sandy. Most recently, she was a weekly volunteer at the Frippery Thrift shop at Wilson Memorial.
A loving wife, mother, aunt, and grandmother, Fran was dedicated to her family. A lifelong learner she always enjoyed a good puzzle or word teaser. Fran was an eternal optimist and would always see the bright side of things. She treated everyone with kindness, gentleness, and love. Making applesauce with her Foley Food Mill was a lifelong passion and everybody loved Granny Franny’s applesauce!
Fran’s parents retired to Ocean City NJ in the late ’60s, followed by Al’s parents in 1972. Ocean City became an incredibly special place where cherished family memories are created. Another favorite family summer vacation spot for over 40 years is Lake George, NY. Fran proved to be an expert planner and packer for her family of 5. Whether camping on an island or in a house she was always prepared.
After Fran and Al retired, they enjoyed travel including China, Europe, South America, and Alaska.
Fran is survived by her husband of 61 years, Al, son, Bob Ellis (Abbie), daughter, Jane Schneiderman (Josh), and daughter, Judy Thomson Wall (David); 9 grandchildren: Katie, Ben, Jack and Emily Ellis, Jonah and Max Schneiderman, Reagan Thomson, Matt and Hannah Wall. Also, several nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Frances, brother, Robert, and sisters, Joanne and Nancy.
A Celebration of Life will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at Wilson Memorial Church, 7 Valley Rd., Watchung, NJ. Visitation with the family immediately following.