CAPE VINCENT, NY — Eleanor Marie “Ellie” Sullivan, 85, formerly of Cape Vincent, NY, passed away peacefully Dec. 23, 2018.
Ellie was born in Bronx, NY to Alexander Leiper, an automobile mechanic, and Doris Leiper, who immigrated to the United States from England at the age of 14. Ellie was a twin and the youngest of their four children. She spent her childhood in the Bronx and attended Catholic elementary and high schools. She was a graduate of Fordham University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance. Ellie was the first woman in her family to attend and graduate college.
After college she was employed at General Motors as a finance analyst where she met a co-worker, Allen Sullivan. They were wed Oct. 3, 1959, and resided in New York City and then Glen Rock, NJ. In 1968 they adopted a daughter and in 1970 a son. In 1972 the family moved from New Jersey to Allen’s hometown of Cape Vincent, NY where she became a stay-at- home mother.
She was predeceased by her husband who died three years later in 1975. She never remarried.
Ellie initially did not enjoy her new home in Cape Vincent and missed the city life in which she was raised. However, after her husband’s passing in 1975 she once again decided to give her two young children a better life. Against the wishes and persistence of her mother and brothers, Ellie refused to move back to New York City to be close to and get help from her family. Even though she did not have her family close by nor any employment, she was determined to raise her children in a small town instead of a large city. She found several part-time local jobs over the years to support her children as a single mother, including as a clerk at a local sporting goods store, librarian at the Cape Vincent Community Library, and treasurer at St. Vincent of Paul Church. In 1986 Ellie accepted a position as a budget analyst at the United States Army Base in Fort Drum, NY. She was employed there until her retirement.
Ellie grew to love Cape Vincent and her many friends there. When her children were young she spent her time rooting them on at Thousand Islands soccer and basketball games, commiserating about raising teenagers with her dear friends Sharon and Celeste, and cheering on Syracuse and the NY Giants at Sullivan family dinners on William Street.
In her later years she cherished sitting on the deck at her friend Jean’s with a gin and tonic and watching the ships go by, playing cards with her weekly Canasta group, taking a ride on a friend’s boat, Friday nights at Sleepy Hollow, conversations with her in-laws Margaret and Jim, her Catholic faith and friends at St. Vincent DePaul, watching Syracuse basketball, and spending time with her four grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, Ellie is predeceased by her three brothers; Arthur, Donald and Leslie. She is survived by a daughter Carol, of Petaluma, CA; a son, Paul (Michelle) of West Hartford, CT; her grandchildren Brae, Tommy, Rowan and Patrick, and several nieces and nephews.
Her children would like to thank Ellie’s many special friends in Cape Vincent whose friendship and time together Ellie cherished so much, and who did so much to help her over the years as a single mother, but especially Jean, Sharon, Margaret, the LeTendre family and the Bashaw family.
Arrangements are with the Hart & Bruce Funeral Home, Watertown.
A service and celebration of Ellie’s life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at St. Vincent of Paul Church in Cape Vincent. The family will receive friends immediately afterward.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations may be made in Ellie’s name to The Cape Vincent Community Library, P.O. Box 283, Cape Vincent, NY 13618.
Online condolences may be made at www.hartandbrucefh.com