Ellen Marie (Long) Elam, 96 of Perry, died at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 6, 2013.
She was born July 27, 1916, in Ralls County, to Frederick Rosell "Jack" Long and Rosa Gertrude Oglesby. She graduated Perry High School, Perry, Mo., and was married in 1939 to Berton Riley Elam. She was a faithful daughter and sister, devoted wife and mother and special friend to those who knew her. She began a lifelong love of painting at the age of 14 when an itinerant painter passing through Perry realized her profound interest and left her brushes and paints. In the 1950s she was commissioned to paint large 10-foot by 10-foot and 10-foot by 15-foot murals on stretched canvas - one depicting Tom and Huck on the banks of the Mississippi and the other a portrait of Mark Twain in the center of a pilots wheel with scenes from his life between the spokes. These paintings now reside in the Mark Twain Birthplace Shrine Museum in Florida, Mo., and the Missouri Historical Society respectively. Her paintings of show horses, hunting dogs, wildlife and nostalgic country scenes have been sought by collectors all over the United States. She was a beautician for many years, closing her shop in 1976 to tend after the birth of one of her grandsons.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three sisters, Edith Scena Brashears, Brenita Maxine Dodge and Julia Mae Bowling, and one granddaughter Nancy Jeanne Ells.
She is survived by two brothers, Jack Long Jr. of Perry, Russell Roger Long of Grandview, Idaho, a son Anthony Riley Elam of Perry, a daughter Sally Rosa Talbot of Springfield, five grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
We would like to thank the staff of Culpepper East where she resided for four years and the doctors and staff of 6C at Mercy Hospital for their compassionate care. At her request the body has been cremated under the direction of Herman Lohmeyer Funeral Home in Springfield, Mo. A memorial celebration of Ellen's life will be held at the Perry Christian Church at 302 East Salling Street in Perry, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. Memorial contributions can be made to: Perry Christian Church, P.O. Box 479, Perry, Mo. 63462.