Cover photo for Ellen L. (Longfellow) Morgan's Obituary
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1941 Ellen 2021

Ellen L. (Longfellow) Morgan

March 2, 1941 — January 14, 2021

Ellen L. (Longfellow) Morgan, age 79, of Sudbury, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, January 14, 2021. She was the loving wife of forty-six years to the late Dean Thomas Morgan, and a beloved mother and nana to her three children and six grandchildren.

Born in Manhattan, New York on March 2, 1941, she was the daughter of the late Henry Cram and Cecile (Hunter) Longfellow. She was the great-great-great niece of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and proud of her family history and New England heritage.

Ellen was raised and educated in Tarrytown, New York, graduating from Sleepy Hollow High School, class of 1958. Upon graduation, she went on to attend Wellesley College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Latin, class of 1962. She also took courses toward a Massachusetts Teaching Certificate in 1961. She married Dean, a graduate student at MIT, on August 25, 1961.

Ellen taught at Beaver Country Day School from 1962 to 1964 when her first child, Stephen, was born. She worked as a tutor and substitute teacher at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury from 1976 to 1989 and was a substitute teacher in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1995. She sold insurance for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company from 1992 until her retirement in 1995.

Ellen spent her life quietly helping others. First of all, her beloved family. She raised her family the old-fashioned way, with free time, vegetable gardens, homemade cookies and cakes, enormous holiday meals (to which friends and extended family were always welcome). Once the children left home, she was a treasured source of advice, with a combination of common-sense, understanding and loving kindness (and sometimes what one of her friends described as "acerbic wit.") She was always available, when anyone needed her. Both with her life, and her words, she taught her family to be of service to others, and that kindness is the most natural way to be.

To her grandchildren, she was an endless supply of new toys (including noisy ones beloved by the children and not their parents!) games, story-telling and patience. Visits to her house began with secret childrens' tv sessions, pancakes, bacon and sausage, and the question, "How many eggs?"

Ellen was always busy. From the age of four, she was an avid reader (she skipped kindergarten after one day), with taste ranging from regency romances and mystery crimes, to novels and history books. She knit endlessly, supplying her family with an incredible supply of beautiful sweaters, hats and mittens (she replaced the mittens with immense patience, to children who lost them almost as quickly as she knit). She created beautiful cross-stitch; when she made two cross-stitch quilts before the arrival of her first grand-child, she may not have realized that there would be five more quilts to come!

Ellen loved her home in Sudbury, where she lived from 1968; she fed the birds every day, even shoveling a path to the bird feeders, in the winter of endless snow (2014-15). She spent every summer of her childhood, and weeks every summer since, in the house her parents bought in the 1940s in South Bristol, Maine. She loved to tell about early years in that house, when there was no electricity or plumbing (the ruins of the former outhouse still stand on the property), and she and her mother fetched water from the local town spring.

Ellen devoted the last thirteen years of her life to volunteer work in the Sudbury community. A longtime parishioner of Memorial Congregational Church, she served as Deacon and ran the annual church rummage sale; under her leadership, this became a highly successful fundraiser and community event. She helped at the church recycling event in late October, though experiencing the symptoms which would land her in hospital a few days later. A lifetime lover of history, she volunteered for the Sudbury Historical Society, acting as docent for Hosmer House tours and working to establish the new Sudbury History Center. She volunteered for FISH driving, taking other seniors to medical appointments, and helped at the Sudbury Community Food Pantry. She ran and organized the annual third-grade Sudbury Center history tour. Service, warmth and hospitality were integral to her spirit; as one close friend, a fellow Wellesley graduate, noted, "she exemplified the motto: non Ministrari sed Ministrare, "(Not to be ministered unto, but to minister).

Ellen is survived by her children Stephen Morgan and wife Anna of Florence, SC; Douglas Morgan of Somerville, MA; Cecily Anne Field and husband Timothy of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; her grandchildren Grace, Anne, Elena, Elisa, Felicity and Nathaniel; her sister-in-law Phyllis Holmes and husband James of Jonesborough, TN; and her first cousin Patricia Matteo of Pine Bush, NY.

Due to the current restrictions, Ellen's Funeral service at Memorial Congregational Church in Sudbury will be private, with a zoom invitation available for all who wish to participate in the wider community.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sudbury Historical Society ( Loring Parsonage, 288 Old Sudbury Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 or ), Sudbury Food Pantry ( Our Lady of Fatima Church, 160 Concord Road , Sudbury, MA 01776 or ) or the American Cancer Society ( ).


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