HOUGH, Ellen Randall
Of Kalamazoo, Michigan
Ellen passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of July 31, 2008, leaving her devoted husband, William (Bill) S. Hough of Kalamazoo, and an extended family across the country. Ellen and Bill renewed their youthful acquaintance in 1996 and were married by her brother at high noon on October 31, 1998. They have shared a very special life together, first in California for several years and since 2003 at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo.
Ellen was born on Mother's Day, May 11, 1919, to Philo DeWayne and Beatrice Randall Hotelling in Detroit, MI. Her mother died when she was very young and Ellen and her brother were raised in Flint, Michigan by their father and stepmother, Leah Linton Hotelling. Ellen attended Kalamazoo College for two years as a member of the Class of 1942. She was married in Stetson Chapel to Thomas Birch Smith in 1942. Birch and Ellen were married for 42 years, until his death in 1984. She raised their children and was active in the Women of the Moose, serving a term as Senior Regent, before embarking on a trailblazing professional career. Beginning in accounting services at Travis Motors and Engel Volkswagen in the 1950s and 1960s, Ellen moved to Stewart Clarke Furniture in 1971. Ellen was chosen as the first female President of the Credit Managers' Association, serving as a role model for women in the Greater Kalamazoo area. Her cousin, Ethol Hotelling, was her friend and mentor. Since her retirement in the early 90's Ellen had been able to spend even more time with her family and friends, enjoying lunches together, tending the garden plot at the Village, singing in the chorus, listening to organ practice on Saturday morning, and knowing all of the right questions on Jeopardy. Always a creative spirit, Ellen was an avid knitter and weaver, photographer, and stained glass craftsperson; a voracious reader, she would love to wander into a romance novel or a murder mystery.
Ellen was the proud matriarch of a wonderful family spanning from the Connecticut coastline, New York City and Philadelphia to Oregon, Seattle and British Columbia with numerous towns and cities in between. Preceded in death by her first husband, Thomas Birch Smith, Sr., their four children and their families are: Susan (and Colin) Alexander of Gobles and their four children and four grandchildren; Jennifer (and William) Sanderson of Exton, PA and their three children and six grandchildren; Edie Smith (Lund) Trent of State College, PA and her two children and five grandchildren; and Thomas (and Marcia) Smith of Portage and their two children and three grandchildren. Her step-children and their families are Cindy (and Brian) Stulpin of Clinton, CT, and Randy (and Leslie) Hough of Port Moody, British Columbia and their two children. Ellen's brother, Robert D. Hotelling, died in 2001, his wife Francis Ring Hotelling died in 2007. Their daughter, Amy Hotelling LeBlanc (Michael) lives in East Wilton, Maine near their two children and six grandchildren.
Many of Ellen's 13 grandchildren, respective spouses, and 21 great-grandchildren recently visited Ellen, sharing many memories and the loving smiles that only a "Great" great-grandmother can bestow. She always would point out that "she started all this!!" when speaking fondly of her family.
In addition to her family, Ellen leaves behind her many good friends and colleagues, many of whom she had befriended through professional and community organizations and church communities, and in the five years that she and Bill have lived at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo. She will be long remembered for her quick wit, good humor, and bright spirit.
Services will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, August 16th at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Portage Chapel, 411 E. Centre Ave. Visitation will be 6-8 PM Friday, August 15th at the Portage Chapel. Ellen will be buried in Mount Ever-Rest Cemetery on South Westnedge beside her first husband, Birch. Memorials may be directed to The First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo. www.langelands.com
Read Ellen Hough's Obituary and Guestbook on www.langelands.com.