Eleanor (Ellie) Mary Garten passed away on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at age 84 in Fairfax, VA. She was surrounded by her beloved children, grandchildren, and close friends. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 48 years Paul Gilbert, son Paul Joseph, parents Mary (Mamie) and Joseph (Gus) Phinney, and brother John Francis Phinney.
She is survived by her children Paula, Matthew, and Jane, son-in-law David Bracken, grandchildren Maeve, Emma, Patrick, and Rory Bracken, brothers Joseph and Richard Phinney and sisters-in-law Anne, Elizabeth (Betty) and Eileen Phinney, and numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many cherished friends in the Greenspring community.
After growing up in Boston, Massachusetts and spending many years there, she moved south to Virginia in 2010 be closer to her children and grandchildren, though she remained a Boston girl through and through. She was a diehard Red Sox and Patriots fan. Ellie’s family was the highlight of her life – you’d often find her on the sidelines at her grandchildren’s games, in the kitchen whipping up one of her signature dishes or regaling the table with a wickedly funny story, glass of Bailey’s Irish cream in hand.
Ellie had an infectious laugh and easygoing nature. For Ellie, family was everything. She loved spending time with them and was so incredibly proud of her four grandchildren.
She was a wonderful mother, doting grandmother, faithful sister and loyal friend.
Ellie sparked joy in all those she crossed paths with. Her laugh was infectious, her smile never wavered, and the twinkle never left her eye. She lit up every room she walked into.
She’d give you the shirt off her back and the food off her plate.
She had a heart of solid gold and led a rich, vibrant life. Ever the adventurer, she traveled extensively, eager to see the world, and she never met a horizon she didn’t want to broaden. We lost the heart and soul of our family. She was an angel on earth and now she’s an angel in heaven. She shined so bright that now the world seems so dark, but she’ll always be our ray of sunshine.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at 11 am at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Springfield, VA
Memorial contributions may be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html