Elsbeth “Ellie” Fay Dowdell Botham, of Grand Junction, passed away on Sunday, 19 March 2017, after suffering a massive stroke last week. She was 87, and a resident of the Atrium of the Grand Valley.
Born 22 August 1929 in Preston, Connecticut, Ellie graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1947. That summer, she married Ken Botham, also an NFA graduate, and their son, Ken, Jr., was born the following year.
With a family history in New England that extends back to the Mayflower, Ellie and her family nevertheless discovered the beauty of the American West on a family vacation to Yellowstone in 1959. In 1960 Ellie and her Kens moved to Steamboat Springs. A couple years later, they moved to Grand Junction, where they settled permanently. Then twenty years after the birth of her son, Ellie was surprised to discover that she was again pregnant, and thus she and Ken welcomed their unexpected bundle of joy—daughter, Fay—into their home in 1968.
Ellie started piano lessons when she was a little girl, having such a gift for music that she was playing for her church by the time she was ten years old. Thereafter, Ellie played for recitals, weddings, & funerals, as well as for every church she ever attended, establishing a reputation as an accomplished accompanist and soloist. During her younger years, she also sang in church choirs and small groups, and sang bass in the Grand Mesa Chapter of Sweet Adelines. She loved playing the piano, and her music will be sorely missed.
Ellie is survived by sisters Mary Lou Dowdell of Orlando, Florida, and Marion Fleming of XXXX; son, Ken, Jr., and daughter, Fay; grandson Thad and his three children, Eli, Maeve, and Silas; and granddaughter-in-law Jill and her two sons, Daniel and Lucas. Ellie was preceded in death by grandson Thayer, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2008, and by husband Ken, who passed away last May.
A memorial service will take place at Brown’s Funeral Service on Sunday, 26 March, at 11 AM.