Guilderland - Ellen Skelly passed peacefully into eternal life on September 12, 2019, at the age of 79.
She was born in County Longford in Ireland. In the early years, she had shown herself to be a bright and gifted student. Her strong determination helped her in academics and would be a touchstone in her later life. Ellen, like so many, came to America to seek a better life. What better place in America to seek opportunity than New York City so she journeyed forth. It was there that she was reunited with her sisters, Margaret, Mary and Anne. Ellen soon found employment with the NY Telephone Company and advanced her position within the company. It wasn’t long before she caught the eye of a dashing Irishman (John). They would wed in early February 1964. Soon after, they left the big city for a more relaxed setting in rural upstate NY. Ellen was active in St Mary’s church in Nassau and of a very strong faith. Ellen and John would eventually settle and start a family in Schodack NY. They were soon blessed with two boys, James (Seamas) and Peter. Ellen loved the family life but as the children grew and started school, she sought to continue her education and start her own career. It wasn’t long before Ellen found her passion in the field of nursing, and it suited her well. Ellen applied her determination and passion to her nursing career while balancing family life. She continued her education and eventually received a Master of Science degree in nursing and worked in many of the finest hospitals within the area. Ellen shared often that she was most rewarded by teaching and mentoring young nurses who she worked with.
Having achieved the pinnacle of nursing education, Ellen sought new challenges. She pursued a secondary career in local politics. Ellen ran for and won many terms as a member on the Schodack Town Board. She loved meeting with residents and working to find solutions to their issues. It was after a full family and professional life that Ellen & John undertook a monumentally selfless task of adopting a daughter, Jizziyah. Ellen raised Jizziyah with all her passion and determination until her health would no longer allow her to do so.
Ellen is survived by her children, Seamas (Tiina Urv) O Scalaidhe, Peter (Diana) Skelly, Jizziyah Skelly, and her grandchildren Ethan and Collin Skelly. She also leaves her beloved sisters and brothers Margaret (John) O Sullivan, Mary (late Andrew) McDermott, Anne (late Donald) Haher, Sean (Kathleen) Browne, Liam (Maureen) Browne, Tommy Browne and Bridget McManus as well as many cherished nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband John, her parents Ellen (Keenan) and Robert Browne, and her siblings, Robert and Agnes Browne.
The family would like to extend a tremendous thank you to Deborah Hanish Schreyer who has been an advocate for our mother through this entire journey. Special thanks to all the staff of Our Lady of Mercy Life Center Guadalupe unit. These special people are compassionate and giving through the most difficult challenges.
Calling hours will take place on Wednesday, September 18th, from 10-11am at St. Madeleine Sophie Parish, 3500 Carman Road in Guilderland and will be followed by a funeral mass beginning at 11:30am. Interment will be at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.
Memorial contributions in Ellen’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4 Pine West Plaza, Ste 405, Albany, NY 12205.