Ellen Alice Murphy-Rowlands, age 90 passed away on May 29, 2021. She was born on September 1, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan to her late parents, Sheldon and Mildred (née Jackson) Frey.
She is the beloved and devoted wife of Roy Rowlands and the late Robert Murphy; loving mother of Lynne (George) Elliott and Daniel (Clare) Murphy; step-mother of Rick Rowlands, Randy Rowlands and Rene Rowlands; proud grandmother of six and great-grandmother of four.
Ellen graduated from Cooley High School in Detroit in 1948. She then went to work at Vickers Corporation until the time she married her first husband Robert Murphy. They were married for 28 years until he passed away suddenly of a heart attack in July of 1976. This left Ellen with two kids at home and she went back to work as a sales assistant to support her family. In September of 1995 Ellen got remarried to Roy Rowlands. They loved to travel together all over the world. One of their rituals was to go swimming twice a week at Schoolcraft College. That is where they met each other for the first time.
Ellen was a cheerleader for and supporter to her children, step-children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She supported them in their decisions and trusted in their abilities. She laughed at all their jokes and at the same time she could make them laugh too. She was famous for all her sticky notes she left as reminders to herself and others. Ellen was there during their best days and their worst days and they knew they could always count on her to be available to give them the best hugs a mother and grandmother could ever give.
One of Ellen’s greatest joys in life was her garden. She was able to express herself by connecting with nature and creating a beautiful space outdoors. Gardening gave her a feeling of true achievement. She loved being in the sunlight planting the seeds, watching them grow into plants, and then taking care of them so they could blossom into a thing of beauty.
As gardening was soothing to her soul, so was Ellen’s faith. She was a longtime member of Ward Presbyterian Church. It was her love for the Lord and her faith that helped to get her through everyday life as well as those times of difficulty and weakness. Her faith gave her strength and guidance. She believed that everything in life was far easier to get through when you have faith.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation to the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids. This organization supports families that have lost a mother or father with young children still at home. You can visit their website to see all the good things they do as well as make a donation. The website is www.forthekidsfoundation.org/ellen Donations can also be made to Ward Church. www.wardchurch.org
Friends may gather on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at Ward Church, 40000 Six Mile Road, Northville beginning at 10:00 A.M followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 A.M.