FAIRFAX, Va. — Ellen B. Reinhard, of Fairfax, Va., formerly of Marseilles, passed away April 7 at Adler Center of Caring in Aldie, Va., from complications of dementia. She was 82.
She was born March 15, 1936, in Ottawa, to Edward M. and Grace (Hartzell) Willems, of Marseilles. She attended the school system there and graduated from Marseilles High School in 1954. She entered the Brokaw School of Nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University and gained her nursing license in 1957.
Ellie married John Reinhard, of Bloomington, on Sept. 22, 1956, and they, along with their daughter, Gretchen, and son, Derek, traveled to various bases as he served as a Marine pilot. Upon completion of duty, they moved to Horseheads, N.Y., where Ellie was a part-time school nurse teacher and office nurse for a urologist. Daughters, Heidi and Alicia, were born at this time.
In 1971, the family moved to Cumberland, R.I., where they stayed for 30 years. Ellie was a CCU nurse at Fogarty Hospital and a hospice nurse for Hospice Care of Rhode Island. Ellie was the first manager of their new Philip Hulitar Inpatient unit.
She was named "Rhode Island Nurse of the Year" in 1988. At that time she also completed her BA in nursing at Salve Regina University at Newport, R.I.
Throughout this time, Ellie maintained her love of the outdoors and nature and led many hikes in the mountains of Nebraska and canoed, snowshoed and skied. She also participated in Methodist Church work especially with youth fellowship.
After retiring in 2000, Ellie and John roamed the U.S. in a motor home for the next 10 years, wintering in Arizona. In 2016, they returned east as their health declined.
Ellie was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Mary Suzanne Roscoe.
She is survived by John, her husband of 61 years; daughters, Gretchen Pratt, of Kitty Hawk, N.C., Heidi, of Medford, Maine, and Alicia Sweetman, of Vernon, Conn.; son, Derek, of Fairfax, Va.; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Interment is planned for this summer in Carthage, Ill.