Elinor M. (Sanders) Thomas
02/25/1933 - 05/31/2020
Thinking of Ellie Mae brings a smile to the face of everyone who knew her. Ellie was a contrary lady with a quick wit and a sharp mind to the very end. She always spoke her mind; you never had to wonder what she was thinking because she’d tell you.
Ellie was born February 25, 1933, in Chambersburg, to Paul Frederick and Helen Mae (Davis) Sanders. She was the baby of the family with two older brothers - Bob (Robert Edwin - b. 07/29/1919 - d. 03/31/1997) and Bill (William Bertus Sanders - b. 09/22/1922 - d. 05/13/2014) and three older sisters - Edie (Edith Jane Heck - b. 02/19/1918 - d. 07/11/1989), Libby (Elizabeth Catherine Sanders - b. 10/08/1920 - d. 12/03/1985), and Dot (Dorothy Louise Eberly - b. 10/29/1931 - d. 05/16/1991).
Ellie grew up on the corner of Main and Garfield Streets in Chambersburg. She learned to play the piano, the flute, and the organ, and music became a huge passion in her life. She played for many organizations over the years, including several bands, the Chambersburg Hospital Auxiliary, various community chorus groups, and many churches - ending her career at Zion Reformed Church in downtown Chambersburg.
Watching Ellie play was as entertaining as the music itself. When Ellie played the piano or the organ, her little body danced and bobbed all over her bench right along with the tune. Her playing, in fact, brought her together with her husband of 45 years Bob Thomas (Robert Kenneth - b. 08/29/1930 - d. 06/15/2004) when he hired her to play for his band. They married on November 23, 1958.
They bought a house on Wayne Ave. in Chambersburg and adopted two children, Beth (Beth Powers of Greencastle - b. 07/02/1967) and Mark (b. 09/02/1969 - d. 11/21/2014). Ellie stayed home to love and care for the kids, her family, and her friends. When she returned to work, she became a bank teller -- the perfect position to allow her outgoing personality to shine. She spent her days making other people’s days brighter. At the bank, she built many relationships with customers and co-workers which have remained to this day.
Ellie maintained many strong family relationships and friendships throughout her life. Her four grandchildren - Ben Powers (of Greencastle), Lauren Powers (of Durham, NC), Annie Powers (of Greencastle), and Sam Powers (of Greencastle) were her pride and joy! She adored them, and they cherished her. She treasured every one of her family members, her caregiver family at Chambers Pointe, and her many devoted friends. In her last days, she spoke fondly of what each of you meant to her.
Ellie Mae loved well and was well loved. She will be missed.
Graveside Services will be held at Parklawn Gardens in Chambersburg on Friday, June 5, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. We invite you to join us to celebrate the life of Ellie Mae Thomas.