Ellen Strathman, 26, died Easter Sunday 2020 in an automobile accident in Ellsworth. She was born on March 28, 1994, in St. Petersburg, Russia, and adopted by her parents, Paul and Joy Strathman, in October 1997.
Ellen’s first home in the USA was in Ballwin, Mo., near St. Louis. She attended Marquette High School in Chesterfield, graduating in 2013. While in high school, she enjoyed her time on the girls’ varsity swim team and excelled in backstroke and butterfly. She was selected to go to state championships in her junior and senior years. Ellen’s love for the pool carried over to her six years as a year-round lifeguard for the city of Ballwin. After high school, Ellen continued her education at Meramec Community College for several semesters before moving to Ellsworth. In 2017, Ellen graduated as a certified nurse assistant and was immediately employed in residential care at Seaport Village Health Care in Ellsworth. Ellen understood that although her work was very difficult, and sometimes unpleasant, she was able to help her residents maintain dignity and provide joy with her daily attention to their physical needs. A resident once challenged her to a mashed potato fight, and Ellen had to restrain herself from reciprocating while they both laughed hysterically.
Ellen was full of exuberant life and abundant joy. She was the quintessential extrovert who never met a stranger. Ellen loved to laugh and thrived on making people laugh with her antics. But she also had the tenderness to see and care for people, even those she didn’t know. In November, Ellen was with her friend and parents on a cruise ship and they met each evening at a certain venue for music and dancing. Ellen was always first on the dance floor with a broad smile on her face. By the third night, everyone knew Ellen and joined her in the fun. One evening, Ellen spotted a young man with special needs sitting with his parents in the music venue. Ellen watched him for a while, and then went over and asked him to dance with her. He sheepishly declined, but Ellen sat down and talked to him and his family for a bit. That’s who Ellen was.
Ellen is survived by her parents, Paul and Joy Strathman of Fort Mill, S.C., and Bar Harbor. Ellen also had several aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the country. Her friends are as numerous as the stars in the sky.
A celebration of life will be held in Bar Harbor later this summer when conditions permit. Notification of the date, time and location will be posted on social media, local newspapers and on the website of Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth.
Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.