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Couple celebrate 65 years, despite wife’s illness

Couple celebrate 65 years, despite wife’s illness

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 8:00 pm

By JOE LOFARO
Special to The Press
For the better part of 65 years Don and Stella Ellison did everything together. They loved to work in their flower garden and both were devoted members of their church.
Now, Don visits Stella every day at Martin Health Care. Stella suffers from Alzheimer’s.
“Daddy has lost his best friend,” said Don and Stella Ellison’s oldest daughter, Donna Bell of Martin. “She has good and bad days. We just have to enjoy the good days.”
The Ellisons, who married in 1948 at their preacher’s home in Mississippi, celebrated one of those good days – their 65th wedding anniversary – recently at Martin Health Care. Four generations of Ellisons attended the anniversary at Martin Health Care. Bell, Barbara Stockett, the Ellison’s other daughter; Jennifer Martin, Stockett’s daughter from London, England; and Samuel Martin, Jennifer’s three-month old son. Members of the Lighthouse Community were also at the cake and ice cream celebration hosted by the staff of Martin Health Care.
“We were happy to have four generations and momma and daddy’s first great-grandbaby there,” Bell said.
The Ellisons moved to Memphis in 1952 and Don worked for Ford Motor Company for 37 years, while Stella worked at Sears for about 20 years.
Don Ellison now lives next door to Bell on Vancleave Road.
“This is a learning situation for us,” Bell said. “We learn something new every day. This is an illness we didn’t know anything about.”
Bell said the staff and all the people at Martin Health Care are “so nice.”
“We just take it one day at a time.”
Stephanie Castleman, who works at Martin Health Care, said she gets to see Stella Ellison every day.
“She recognizes me, but that’s about it,” said Castleman about Ellison. “I love her dearly.”

Published in The WCP 6.18.13

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