Mattie Lee Ellison, 82, of Fairfax, Virginia passed away on September 3, 2022. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.
Mrs. Mattie Lee Campbell Ellison was born on December 8, 1939, to her loving mother, Mabel Campbell in Georgetown County, South Carolina. Unfortunately, her mother passed away when she was just a toddler, and she was reared by her maternal grandparents, Mr. Thomas Phillip Campbell, Sr. and Mrs. Oranna Geathers Campbell.
Living in the South, her grandparents had limited educational opportunities, but they did have faith in God, love, and firm expectations that Mattie would attend school and not miss a day. Mattie was educated in the Georgetown County public schools and graduated from Howard High School.
In pursuit of advancement opportunities, Mattie relocated to New York City and joined her aunts and started working. While working, Mattie met, and later married Mr. Fletcher Henry Ellison—aka, Sonny. Their union was blessed with the births of two children: son, Terrance Kevin; and daughter, Pamela Denise. Her beloved Sonny preceded her in death.
Mattie remembered lessons instilled in her as a child and continued her education. While a wife and mother, she earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree and became a math teacher. She excelled as a teacher and was loved by students because she was kind and patient; she could relate because she knew what it was like to overcome challenges and believed in her students. Everyone knew Mattie, and she was sought out for advice and to give students a “pep talk.”
While busy working and raising a family, Mattie and Sonny became active members of Community Protestant Church. Mattie served in multiple capacities, including, Deaconess, church secretary, Women’s Guild president, choir member, and summer Bible camp director. Mattie was always involved in something—planning galas, cruises, and bus trips for groups to destinations up and down the east coast. However, Mattie’s husband and children were always the priority; they did everything as a family.
After 30 years, Mattie retired from the New York City Public Schools and relocated to Virginia. She tutored students, joined a local church, and continued her passion working with young people; she started another summer camp for students and became known as “Ms. Mattie.” At her current church, New Beginning Family Worship Center, Ms. Mattie was a Deaconess and treasurer on the board of directors.
Mattie took pride in being a good cook and was known for her biscuits. Family will fondly remember the spread she would prepare for holidays and Sunday meals; it was always made with love. She never wanted a lot of fancy, expensive items and would put family before herself. She loved anything made with lemon, seafood, nuts, chocolate covered cherries, gladiolas, and game shows.
Mattie was a Christian woman, who put Jesus first, then her children and family. Many people adopted “Ms. Mattie” as their mother throughout the years. She had a way of making people from a variety of backgrounds comfortable talking to her as she dispensed her wisdom. Mattie enjoyed being involved and connecting with people; she would know a bus driver’s life story by the end of the ride. Once you met Mattie, she was not a person you would forget. She would always tell you to put Jesus first in your life, and you can do anything if you put your mind to it. She touched many lives in a positive way, and her legacy and imprint will live on.
Those who remain to cherish and honor her memory are: her devoted children, Pastor Terrance Kevin Ellison (Brenda); Pamela Ellison Brumfield (Leo); grandson, Joseph; nephews Pastor Earl Campbell and Carlton Bonner; nieces Rena Bonner and Robin Bonner; and a host of grandnieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
In lieu of floral arrangements, the family prefers that you plant a tree or make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/give/memorials-and-dedications/donation-in-honor-of-someone.html.
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