Evelyn Martin Ellingson, Oak Ridge pioneer

Evelyn Martin Ellingson

Evelyn Martin Ellingson

Evelyn Martin Ellingson died June 15 at her residence in Oak Ridge.

She was born May 31, 1919, in Cullman, Ala., to Dr. James C. Martin and Louise Reinstadler Martin.

Evelyn attended the University of Alabama from 1937 to 1941, and so began her unwavering love of the Crimson Tide. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration, she came to Oak Ridge and was hired as the 179th employee at the Tennessee Eastman Co., where she worked in the accounting department.

It was there in Oak Ridge that she met Idaho native Bob Ellingson, and they were later married in 1945, spending 64 years together before his death in 2009.

After leaving the work force and starting a family, she volunteered in many organizations including AAUW, where she served as President from 1963-1965 and continued her membership for another 55 years. She also actively participated in the League of Women Voters, 43 Club, ORCMA Guild, Oak Ridge Committee of 50, the State Board of Christian Churches and First Christian Church. As one of the original charter members of the church, she helped build a thriving church community and served as librarian and historian for many years. As historian, she chronicled the 25th, 35th, and 50th anniversaries of the church, and later went on to write the history of Christian Women’s Fellowship at FCC.

During their 64 years of marriage, Evelyn and Bob traveled the world, attending many educational travel and learning vacations through Elderhostel. 
Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband and parents, as well as siblings Grace Martin Waid and Eunice Martin Phillips.

She is survived by daughters Missy Bowen of Oak Ridge and Donna and Don Loftis of Albuquerque, as well as three grandchildren Ashley Bowen of Knoxville, Amy and Jim Kirchoff of Tucson, and Rob and Peggy Loftis of Albuquerque; and four great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Jack Kirchoff and Robert and Nate Loftis.

She is also survived by sister-in-law Carolyn Petersen and her husband Herb of Sunnyvale, Calif., and three nieces, Mary Grace Holder of Atlanta, Ellen Cunningham of Birmingham, and Linda Allen of Scottsdale, and one nephew, Mark Petersen of Sunnyvale, Calif.

The service will be held June 21 at First Christian Church of Oak Ridge (100 Gum Hollow Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830) with receiving of friends beginning at 10 a.m. The funeral will follow at 11 a.m. with Rev. Steven Sherman and Rev. Jesse Bradshaw officiating. Graveside services will immediately follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the AAUW Scholarship Fund, Attn: AAUW Treasurer, 102 Newton Lane, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, or to First Christian Church Memorial Fund, 100 Gum Hollow Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

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