Mary Emma Ellis Brugh Lee, 91, of The Summit Retirement Home, Hockessin, DE, daughter of the late Jerry Byron Ellis (1901-1939) and Anna Kate Trundle (1902-1997) died at The Summit on 18 March 2021.
Emma was born 25 April 1929 in the "Pink House" on Napoleon Boyd Ellis' farm, near Sevierville, TN. First given the name Betty Lou Ellis, she was renamed Mary Emma when her Great-grandmother, Emma Rachael McMahon, died later in 1929. She graduated Sevier County High School on May 1946 and from East Tennessee State College Aug 1949.
She met Blair Dennis Brugh on a blind date in October 1949 while he was a student at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Emma and Blair were married on 28 Dec 1950 at the Christiansburg Presbyterian Church, Christiansburg, VA, after which Emma worked for the Appalachian Electric Power Company as a Home Economist.
Emma and Blair moved to Cumberland, MD, in 1956 and later LaVale, MD, where they raised their four children. Emma was a conscientious mother and occasionally worked as a substitute teacher in the local schools while the children were growing up. The family enjoyed many summer camping trips up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada. A week of every summer was spent on her family farm in Tennessee.
In 1971 Emma worked full time for the Maryland State Department of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation Division, as a Rehabilitation Specialist for the blind. She held this position for nine and a half years.
Emma was a talented seamstress and an excellent cook. She enjoyed square dancing, collecting stamps, and was an avid, award winning quilter. Emma and Blair spend many long hours at their retirement farm and the log cabin they rebuilt known as "Em's Place", which has preserved at Emma's insistence.
After Blair’s death in 2002, Emma remarried Donald R. Lee, of Cohoes, NY, whom she met while “snow-birding” in North Fort Myer, FL. They were married 1 Jul 2008 in Virginia and were deeply devoted to each other. They spent many happy years together between residences in Pioneer Village, FL and Wilmington, DE, before moving into The Summit Retirement Home.
Emma is survived by her loving husband, Donald R. Lee, of Hockessin, DE, her brother Mr. Paul N. Ellis of Boyd’s Creek, TN, and four children: COL (Ret) Kone Brugh II, and his wife Nancy Taylor Brugh of Abingdon, MD; Ms. Karen Brugh of Wilmington, DE; Mrs. Sandra Brugh Moore of Asheville, NC; and Mrs. Jerry (Janet Blair Brugh) Pantaleo of Edgewater, MD. There are ten grandchildren: Mrs. Raymond (Emily Alison Brugh) Allen
of Newberry, FL; Blair Taylor Brugh of Abingdon, MD; Ms. Nichole Mann of Chicago, IL; Mrs. Matt (Tracy Mann) Slaybaugh of Kennett Square, PA; Mrs. Mike (Carolyn Blair Mann) Curry of Lewes, DE; Mr. Patrick Mann of Philadelphia, PA; Ms. Genevieve H.
Moore of Asheville, NC, Mr. Robert Ellis Moore of Portland, OR; Gerald Gabriel Pantaleo III of Philadelphia, PA and Enrico Joseph Pantaleo of Edgewater, MD. She has 12 Great-grandchildren.
Funeral and burial services are with immediate family and a celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later date.
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