Ellen Friend

Poland – Ellen “Gert” Friend, 85, soon to be 86 on August 28, passed away peacefully with her devoted husband at her side on August 19, 2013.

Ellen affectionately known as “Gert”, was born August 28, 1927, a daughter of David M. and Cathrine Hone Williams.

A 1945 graduate of South High School, Gert received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mount Union College in 1949 where she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority.

Gert married Howard B. “Howdy” Friend on June 17, 1950, and recently celebrated 63 years together.

Gert began her teaching career in the city of Youngstown. After raising her three children, Gert returned to teaching in Poland, Boardman, and Canfield School Districts. Her passion was teaching children with special needs.

Gert was a member of the Mahoning County Retired Teachers Association as well as the Ohio Education Association. She was a member of the Poland Junior Women’s Club and many bridge clubs which she loved very much. Along with her husband Howdy, Gert was a member of the Youngstown YMCA, Four Square Club, Carnival Dance Club, Groupee, and Therapy Group.

Gert was a friend to all and a stranger to none. She was many things to many people, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and Bridge Buddy. To Howdy, her husband, she was “Gert”, to her sons, “Gertie”, to her daughter she was “Mom”, to her grandchildren, she was either “Mimi” or “Gy”, (her license plate was “Mimi-GY”) to her Bridge Buddies she was “Ellie”, and to everybody else she was a Friend. She had much love for everybody and quick to give a hug. She was a little lady with a big heart.

Without question her greatest pleasures of life were being with family and especially grandchildren. The family has attended Camp Fitch together for many years. Howdy and Gert met at Camp Fitch in 1946 after his return from World War II.

Gert is survived by her husband, Howard B. “Howdy” Friend; her two sons; Howard T. (Cathi) Friend of Lisbon, David Scott (Susan) Friend of Okemos, MI; daughter Judith (Craig) Sheetz of Houston, TX; sister; Marilyn (Gene) Jacobson of Rochester, MI; brother, Thomas (Mollie) Williams of Poland; four granddaughters; Alison Friend of Columbus, Megan (Drew) Englert of Arlington, VA, Sarah (Dennis Gilligan) Friend of Lexington, KY, Amy Sheetz of Arlington, VA; five grandsons, Chris (Julie) Friend of Columbus, Marc (Meghan) Friend of Indianapolis, Matt Friend of Madison, WI, Tim (Hollie) Sheetz of Yukon, OK., David Friend Sheetz of Fort Worth, TX; one great-granddaughter Molly Friend. Gert also leaves many nieces, nephews, and special family friends, Ken and Paula Ekis and family and Tom and Holly Fender and family.

Besides her parents, Gert was preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Gene Jacobson

Funeral Services will be held Friday, August 23 at 2:00 PM at the Poland United Methodist Church with Pastor Mike Grant officiating.

Friends will be received today from 4-7PM and Friday from 1-1:45PM at the church.

In lieu of flowers, Gert’s family requests that Memorial Tributes take the form of a contribution made in Gert’s name to the 2014 Camp Fitch Capital Campaign c/o Camp Fitch North Springfield, PA 16430 or to the Poland United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 1940 Boardman-Poland Road, Poland, OH 44514.

Condolences may be sent at www.beckerobits.com