Cherry Blossoms

Ellen (Purrington) Parmely

August 28, 1923 ~ June 5, 2021 (age 97)


Miller, SD-Memorial Service for Ellen Iona (Purrington) Parmely, 97, of Miller will be 9:30 am, Saturday, June 26, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church in Miller.

Inurnment will be in St. Lawrence Cemetery, St. Lawrence, SD.

Ellen Iona (Purrington) Parmely, went to be with her heavenly Father on June 5, 2021. Ellen was a patient at the Sullivan Park Rehabilitation Center in Spokane Valley, WA., for strengthening, where she passed away. Her plans had been to gain strength and return to live with her daughter Farryle for a few more months in Spokane.

Ellen Iona Purrington began her long and wonderful life on August 28, 1923, in Beemer, Nebraska. She was the second child of Tracy James and Iona (Snider) Purrington. Ellen lived with her parents and siblings in Beemer until 1934. In that year they moved to South Dakota where Ellen lived majority of her life. In March of 2021, her daughter Farryle took Ellen to Spokane, WA, for a few months. Following several major health issues during her time in Spokane, Ellen was admitted to Sullivan Park Rehabilitation Center in Spokane Valley, WA., where she passed peacefully in her sleep.

Ellen was an advocate for education. She attended grade school at Highland Center, her high school years at St. Lawrence High School graduating in 1941, and then on to Madison Normal School to earn her teaching certificate. Using her teaching degree, Ellen taught in Pearl and Grant townships. She continued sharing her knowledge and love of learning working as an aide at the Bates and Spring Lake country schools, and teaching Sunday school and Bible school at Highland Center and Rose Hill Church.

Ellen’s zest for life led her to another love—love of music. She shared that love by giving piano lessons and teaching her grandsons and great-grandsons to dance to Bing Crosby tunes in her living room. She taught music at Spring Lake and played for the Sunday school children at Rose Hill Church and during vacation Bible school in the summers.

On December 21, 1943, Ellen married Wayne Parmely at her parent's family home. Wayne and Ellen were the proud parents of three daughters—Farryle, Darla, and Sena. With God’s blessings, Ellen and Wayne shared 56 years of marriage. As these years passed, Ellen shared her life with family, friends, and community. At any time of day or evening Ellen had the coffee pot on for friends and family when they stopped in for a chat. She loved lending a hand and being involved and serving in many organizations: being a member of the Rose Hill Church and later First Presbyterian Church in Miller, serving as an elder and a deacon of those churches, sharing God’s message as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, and being a member of Rainbow Welcome Club, South Hand Extension Club, Republican Women Association, St. Lawrence Tops, and other organizations.

Ellen filled her home with daily devotions, meditative walks, solving crossword puzzles in the newspaper, crocheting, knitting, tatting, reading, and best of all welcoming visitors into her home. Always she offered her company coffee, homemade goodies, and many hours of good conversations and much laughter. Her biggest thrill was handing out a piece or two of Hershey Nuggets for their trip home. Her sense of humor, ready smile, and twinkling blue eyes will be missed but always remembered.

Ellen is survived by her daughters: Farryle Wendel of Spokane, WA; Darla and (Everett) Lawver of Hartford, SD; Sena and (Chip) Rombough and grandson Davon of Miller, SD., her grandchildren Cara and (Matt) Wurst and their daughter Kyra of Spokane, WA; Wayne and (Pam) Wendel and their children Grace and Luke of Lincoln, NE; Christina and (Randy) Hanson and their children Connor and Hadassah of West Fargo, ND; Rebekah and (Matt) Boyer and their daughters Nara and Jemma of Pierre, SD; Kyrik and (Lisa) Rombough and their children Isaak and Jazzlyn of Pierre, SD; and Tigh and (Karen) and stepdaughter Annie of Huron, SD, and stepchildren Jason, Jennifer, Megan, Tyler, and Ashley; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Marcia Purrington, Elaine Peterman, Mildred and Lowell Engel, Marles Dean, Beth and Jack Engel, Genevieve Parmely, Gene Swaney, and many nieces and nephews.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, Tracy and Iona Purrington, husband Wayne, siblings Lurabel Evans and Lurabel's husband Albert (Bub), brothers Russell Purrington and James Purrington; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Viola and June Ford, Roger Dean, Clark and Ruby Parmely, Margaret and Dick Starks, Otis and Natalie Parmely, James Parmely, Lenarda Swaney and nieces and nephews.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with Ellen’s arrangement.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ellen (Purrington) Parmely, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
June 26, 2021

9:30 AM

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