Charlotte Sue Triplett Ellis, my Mother, was the foundation of our Wilkes County, North Carolina home. She was a loving, caring mother, giving me unwaivering love, faith and strength. She was very supportive of my Father, Edward Ellis, Sr., a 20-year WWII Veteran, through many ventures and nursed him for several years after he became seriously ill. My Mother was a woman of many talents, most notably her cooking. But even more outstanding were her never failing smile and truly altruistic character, ensuring that other's needs were met. She was a stranger to none, being heavily devoted to caring for friends and strangers recovering from injury or illness, and even after my Father died, she continued as a tireless volunteer with her church and with the Ladies Auxillary of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
My Father, Edward Ellis, Sr. was a 20-year World War II Veteran. He played an active role in the Normandy D-Day Invasion and suffered extensive wounds while in France. Yet, with a 75% disability and a honorably discharged, he never let the injuries stop him. With only a third grade education, he and my Mother owned and operated a country store/ service station until he retired.
Although our family never had very much in the way of material possessions or opportunities, my Mother and Father knew the importance of hard work, commitment, and education. Realizing that their lack of education reduced their opportunities, they instilled in me a strong work ethic, a deep sense of community, and a driving desire for education. Yet, going to college was not a readily or an accessible option, due to a lack of money.
Fortunately, I qualified for a full, four year scholarship from the Veterans Administration. Without the much needed scholarship, I would not have been afforded the opportunity to go to college and obtain a degree.
Today, there continue to be many young poeple in the Western NC Appalachian Mountain area that are in need of financial support, who are in pursuit of a college education. The economic crisis that is adversely impacting our Nation is being strongly felt in the Appalachian area of NC. The area is experiencing a rising unemployment rate, and decreasing opportunities for those that do not have a college degree.
As many of you know, my Mother Charlotte Ellis, at the age of 84, passed away on August 31, 2011. In gratitude for the foundation that my parents provided me, their belief in the power of education and to honor Mother's commitment to supporting U.S. Armed Forces Veterans, I have started the Charlotte Ellis Scholarship Fund.
Edward Ellis, Jr.