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HELEN ELLSWORTH PARRAN

October 16, 1919 August 30, 2016
HELEN ELLSWORTH PARRAN
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Obituary for HELEN ELLSWORTH PARRAN

On Tuesday, August 30, 2016, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great, Great Grandmother, Aunt, Cousin and Sister Helen Ellsworth Parran transitioned from this earthly life to one of great reward under the skillful and watchful care of Calvert Hospice of Prince Frederick, Maryland. Helen was blessed with a long life of 96 years, ten months and a few days.

Helen was born in Freedman’s Hospital in Washington, D. C. on October 16, 1919 to the late Edward and Jennette Gross. The oldest of four children, siblings Mary Morsell, Hannah Brown and baby brother, Edward, preceded her in death. The late Reverend Frank and Mrs. Edna Chambers (aunt/uncle) became her adoptive parents and raised her in Calvert County to adulthood.

Helen was united in holy matrimony on November 30, 1938 to Norman Ellsworth Parran (better known as Bill) who preceded her in death in 1986. From this union three children, Edna Patricia, Ellis McDonald and Oveta Helen were born. Helen also assisted in raising a grandson, Donnell Hershel Parran (deceased), her great granddaughter, Ceonna Patrice Parran in her early years and Pierre Lloyd, Ceonna’s brother. Helen was saddened when her eldest daughter passed on July 14, 2016 and grieved inwardly until her own passing.

Helen accepted Christ at an early age. The church was the center of her life. She was a life-time member of St. Edmond’s United Methodist Church and served in many capacities as Trustee, President/Secretary/member of the Senior Choir, pianist/secretary for the Methodist Men, member S.P.P.R., helped in the kitchen and was a member of the Intercessory Prayer Ministry. She was also a member of the United Methodist Women organization and attended many of their events and meetings. She attended church services every Sunday until her health started to fail. She could be seen with her walker, called her Cadillac, making her way to church and everyone came to her aid in maneuvering the steps. She would say when asked about service that, “Pastor Jones really preached today.” She was an avid bible study attendee and amassed many books, manuals and study guides to assist her in learning about her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was proud of the Certificates of Appreciation, Recognition and Outstanding Achievement Awards she received for her dedication to learning and service in the community. All were arranged neatly in albums to preserve them so others might see her accomplishments. Helen loved the Lord and showed it in her walk. She trusted God in her going and coming. She loved singing especially when the Senior Choir visited the Calvert County Nursing Home. She finally retired from the Senior Choir in 2016 (with some resistance). Her favorite hymn was “I said I wasn’t going to tell nobody, but I just couldn’t keep it to myself what the Lord had done for me.” This was her testimony.

Helen often talked about her school days indicating she only went to the eighth grade. She went to the old school on Bayside Road and had the same teacher in all eight grades, Ms. Jeannie Norfolk. She didn’t want to go to high school because she said she would need to relocate to Sunderland to catch the bus. She would have none of that so she compensated by reading books she bought over the years. Her collection is enormous with many interesting topics. She loved writing and used books, envelopes, whatever was available, to capture her thoughts. She always wrote out what she wanted to say when she was presenting in church.

Helen worked hard all her life, helping her parents at a young age, helping her husband on the farm, caring for her three children and later serving as a domestic worker for over 50 years. All of her employers called her outstanding in her demeanor and work persona and continued in her life even after her retirement. She always said, “Do the best that you can no matter what your work is in life. God will bless you in the end.” In her own words, she said, “Me and my husband worked hard farming and educating our children. We are so grateful that the three of them have a good education. We always told them to study hard and whatever you do in life to put God first. We taught our grandchildren the same.”

Helen found pleasure in many things in life. She enjoyed--

Collecting – For years she maintained newspaper clippings of events that showcased blacks in Calvert County. Some articles dated back to the 70’s and are now orange with age. She subscribed to many magazines and kept them all. Once she was receiving the same magazine, Ebony, in four different versions of her name. She loved Knick/knacks and flowers. She displayed the ornaments and arrangements throughout her house, as she said, “to bring in some color.”

Cooking – Helen loved to cook and especially for her family. Her culinary skills were excellent and she continued to cook great meals throughout her 96 years. She loved food and had a hearty appetite. She had a large assortment of cookbooks and recipes from every source; however, she rarely used any for her dishes.
Going to parties and other special events – She enjoyed receiving invitations. She never wanted to miss family/friends’ anniversaries, baby showers, birthdays, retirement parties or weddings. She like family reunions and attended events in the later years.
Traveling - She liked traveling to family (children, grandchildren) homes locally, to other states, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and especially the annual trip sponsored by the church to Lancaster, Pennsylvania (Dutch Country) to see shows and eat out at the “family style” restaurants. She really missed going on the trip on August 20, 2016 and talked about it.
Visitors - She loved folks coming to see her. She would talk for hours. Even to the end she recognized visitors, waved to them and invited them back.
Watching TV – She loved games and judge shows. Her favorite was “Family Feud” with Steve Harvey. She would play along with the contestants answering some of the questions asked.

How can you capture in a small program the life of a 96 year old? You can’t because there is so much to tell and not enough room to tell it. You share what you can and hope that folks who knew her will remember Sister Parran for the special person she was. She was full of life and love and we loved her dearly. She was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker who loved her biological and church family. She was happiest when surrounded by family and friends. She had a sense of humor and carried on at all times. Yes, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great, Great Grandmother, Aunt, Cousin and Sister Helen is gone and will be missed by all who knew her. Rest on Mama.

Helen leaves to mourn a loving family which includes son Ellis (Dale), daughter Oveta (George) and son-in-law George Leroy Wills; Grandchildren- Robin Williams, Joy Jones (Meyer), Gordon Watkins (Diane), Avery Wills (Dawnyelle), Christopher Wills (Ravae), Ellis Parran, Jr., Chantell Kennedy, Great grandchildren – Ceonna, Dakari, step great grand, Bianca Williams, Jessica, Jade, Joshua, Khairo, Egypt, Chase, Ellis III, Joseph and Destiny Grace; Great, great grandchildren – Modecai, Yolanda, Michael, Elizabeth, Diamond and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Grandson, Donnell Hershel Parran and Granddaughter Tiffany Denise Randolph preceded her in death.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

8

Sep

10:00 AM 9/8/2016 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 9/8/2016 11:00:00 AM
Emmanuel Church

3800 Old Town Road
Huntingtown, MD 20639

Emmanuel Church
3800 Old Town Road Huntingtown 20639 MD
United States

Service

Thursday

8

Sep

11:00 AM 9/8/2016 11:00:00 AM
Emmanuel Church

3800 Old Town Road
Huntingtown, MD 20639

Emmanuel Church
3800 Old Town Road Huntingtown 20639 MD
United States

Cemetery Details

Thursday

8

Sep

1:00 PM 9/8/2016 1:00:00 PM
St. Edmond's UM Church Cemetery

3000 Dalrymple Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

St. Edmond's UM Church Cemetery
3000 Dalrymple Road Chesapeake Beach 20732 MD
United States
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