Ellen Star Mittleman May 26, 1921- July 9, 2020
There is a party in heaven and Ellen Star Mittleman is happily dancing, embraced in the arms of her true love, husband and soul mate, Stanley. Their first-born child, Kathy, is soaring and swirling around them alternately as an eagle, a butterfly and a hummingbird. Ellen's granddaughter Amber reflects the feelings that everyone in the family feels: “This bright shining light was my beloved grandmother Ellen Star (aka Boom Boom). She passed away July 9th, just after entering her hundredth year...and although it was Covid19 that took her from us in the end, she still managed to depart gracefully, peacefully, and on her own terms, as was her way in all things. Our family shared in the terrible pain that so many families now face...forced into separation, unable to touch our sick loved one(s), to hold them...and yet there was our Boom, blowing kisses to us and flashing her mischievous fairy smile over FaceTime until her last hours. Being strong and cheeky, classy and comforting, as usual. I’ll always remember this woman as a queen, a true matriarch. She nurtured, created boundaries as well as space, took care of everyone seemingly effortlessly, and also showed us what it was to be a brilliant, curious, independent, funny, tough as nails woman, a woman who fully integrated and showed up with her inner child intact. Ellen was so full of contagious joy and wonders, ready to notice, acknowledge, and celebrate the beauty in every moment...in every detail of the life that she viewed as one great adventure. She lit up, and absolutely glowed, when her children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren would enter a room...she made us feel like we were the sun shining on her face...she also lit up when she saw a flower, when she found a beautiful shape in the clouds, when she read the dictionary, when she learned anything new, when she saw the view of the lake she lived on for the thousandth time, when she danced and sang with my grandfather, the love of her life...She was blessed. And I believe in a big way that it was because she chose to feel blessed...even when she faced hard times, even when she was ill, even when she lost her own daughter. She always managed to find the sun and bask in it again. She attracted the same tremendous love and kindnesses to her that she so generously let pour from her heart.” Ellen Star Mittleman, born in 1921, saw financial devastation first-hand as her father, a hide merchant, lost everything during the Great Depression. She, and her family, made it through by "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" as her father often said. In May 20, 1927, Ellen watched Charles Lindbergh take off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island. She grew up as a neighbor and friend of the famous lyricist, Paul Francis Webster. While a freshman at Ohio State, she met Stanley N. Mittleman, who, according to family legend, to win her heart told her that he was from the very same town on Long Island as she. It was a small town and she knew it was a little white lie, but love conquers all, and they were married on October 4th, 1941. The Second World War separated them while Stanley served as an Army photographer both in the European and Pacific Theaters. Ellen modeled for Henry Haddad, was the president of the local Garden Club on Long Island, a housewife, co-founder of a small business in the 50's and a saleswoman at Saks Fifth Avenue while her children were young. At age 50, with their children off to college or married, Ellen encouraged Stan to leave the hustle of Long Island, buy a motel in NH and work together in the beautiful White Mts. They bought Raynor's Motor Lodge in Franconia, NH, which they ran 14 years before retiring to Forest Lake in nearby Dalton, NH. Both Ellen and Stanley volunteered at the local hospital for over 30 years. With somewhat diminished mobility but an absolutely unmitigated enthusiasm for love and laughter, Stan and Ellen moved to Newport, Oregon in 2010, to live with their daughter, Nancy and her husband, Bill Stiffler, and continued to volunteer into their nineties. They always gave more than they took. From the day Stanley returned from the war until the day he passed, in 2014, they never spent a night apart. Seventy-three years of absolute devotion! Together they explored 6 continents, raised a family of 3, embraced and adored 7 grandchildren and tickled the toes of 7 great-grandchildren. Ellen and Stan bathed three generations in their true love and devotion and supported their every dream. As hard as it is to see her swept away by this plague in her 100th year, we know she is happily dancing with her truest of loves. Life is sweet, life is fragile. Drink of its beauty. Sing and dance and let love and laughter abound. Over 400 people responded to the family's Facebook postings, and we thank every one of them for their outpouring of love and sympathy, and for the joy that they brought to us over years and years of treasured friendships. Ellen Star Mittleman is preceded in death by Stanley N. Mittleman and Kathryn Star Simonson. Ellen is survived by her children John Mittleman and Nancy Anne Mittleman, her grandchildren; Frank Richard Meisse, John Robert Meisse, Elise Star Mittleman Boller, Shosh Simonson, Jena Mittleman Croxford, Amber Star Merkens and Myles Obadiah Stiffler and her great grandchildren; Elijah James Meisse, Aden Star Croxford, Rodanthe Bliss Croxford, Milena Rae Boller, Julius Ivry Star-Gandelsman, Lola Star Ellis Boller and Raiya Leone Star-Gandelsman.