|HELEN GROSS CRAFT ELLIS
HORNELL-Helen Gross Craft Ellis, died Tuesday morning (March 22, 2016) at the V.A. Hospice Unit in Bath.
Helen was born at home in Shinglehouse, Pa. on Sept. 21, 1923 to Orin Gross and Laura (Hyde) Gross. She was named after the nurse who delivered her.
Helen had many fond memories growing up in the little town of Shinglehouse, even during the depression. Her family had farms so there was always plenty to eat and many classmates had their one meal a day at my grandmother’s home. Even the homeless were not turned away; they were given food and a few pennies.
Helen loved school, was a good student and played basketball, was a cheerleader, roller skated and ice skated. She had a good life. After graduation she went to the Temple School of Nursing in Philadelphia, Pa. and joined the nurse corps. Helen needed to be 21 to enter the Army.
After basic training the nurses were asked to go to flight school and she said “yes” and so she went to basic training for the Air Force. Helen served in Guam, Philippines, Japan and Korea, transporting wounded and POWs home.
After the war she married, our father, Jack Craft and lived in Hornell until 1957 when they moved to New Jersey. Helen worked in several hospitals in New Jersey and New York making lifelong friends wherever she lived. They moved back to Hornell in 1970 and she finished her nursing career at the former Bethesda Community Hospital in North Hornell.
Mom married her second husband, Richard Ellis and they began their life in Brooksville, Florida both active in their church and playing Bridge. Helen moved back to Hornell, residing with her daughter, due to ill health.
Helen was very proud of her military service and all her siblings served as did her husbands and two grandsons.
Helen was predeceased by her parents, her two brothers, Harold and Donald Gross; her husbands, Jack Craft and Richard Ellis and her beloved dog, Yankee, who tried his best to out live her.
She is survived by her son, Jack (Caroline) Craft of Florida; her daughter, Stephanie Crosby of Hornell, with whom she lived for the past nine years; her stepson, James (Karen) Ellis of Michigan; her grandsons, William, James, Stephen, David, Jack, Harold, Eric and Grant; her great-grandchildren, Cloud, Aspen, Tree Harper, Sophia, Olivia and Benjamin Crosby; her sister, Joan (Ed) Gibbon; her sister-in-law, Jeanne Gross; also her best friend for 90 years, Onilee Hamilton and her dear friend, Mary Sacco.
The family of Helen wishes to thank the caregivers who were so wonderful and giving to my mother. Mom cherished their visits. To those who gave Mom music to listen to, cards and phone calls to remind her she was not forgotten. Most of all the doctors, nurses and Hospice team at the Bath VA. The care was and is extraordinary. All the patients are greeted with smiling faces and kindness. They were there to hold her hand when she was anxious and they treated Mom with a respect I have never seen elsewhere.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell is honored to serve the family of Helen Gross Craft Ellis.
At Helen’s request there will be no calling hours and the committal service with military honors, will be held at the convenience of her family at the Bath National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers and in memory of Helen, please thank a veteran, visit the V.A., take pride in your community and volunteer.
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