Eleanor “Ellie” Corley

03/13/1923 — 06/01/2015

From Richland, WA | Born in Windsor Ontario, Canada

Eleanor “Ellie” Corley

Eleanor C. Corley

March 13, 1923 – June 1, 2015

Eleanor was born on March 13, 1923 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, the youngest daughter of Margaret Beatrix (Robinson) Counsell and Edwin Counsell. As a young teenager she moved across the Detroit River to live in the United States. After graduating from high school, Eleanor became a “working girl” in Detroit; where she met her future husband, Jack Corley, in her church’s young adult group.  When Jack decided to try his luck at Hanford in 1947, Eleanor came to visit at Christmas time and was impressed with how clean the air was compared to the smoke of Detroit.  After marrying on June 8, 1948, Eleanor joined Jack in Richland.  She remarked later that what Richland lacked in smoke it more than made up for in dust when the wind began to blow! In 1959, Jack and Eleanor had the house built where they raised their two children: Robin and Jean, where Eleanor lived until the day she died.

Eleanor prided herself on her independent spirit and worked part time as a typing instructor while her children were young.  She worked at Battelle later in her career as support staff. Eleanor was proud of having mastered a few conversational phrases with which to greet Japanese visitors.  Growing up during the Depression had curtailed Eleanor’s immediate chances of going to college. She would not be denied, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1985 at the age of 63.

Eleanor loved to travel, and Jack’s participation in the Health Physics Society took them to many wonderful places around the world, particularly Austria and Australia. As her interest in family history grew, she added Salt Lake City to her list of must-visit places. Sewing, baking, walking tours, golf, and creative photograph arrangements were among her other interests.  Volunteering was also a big part of her life, including ESL tutoring, working at the Mid-Columbia Library Supply Center, and many hours spent back-stage for the Richland Light Opera Company and the Richland Players.

At the center of Eleanor’s life, however, were friends, family, and faith. For nearly 60 years she kept up a weekly correspondence with a friend from her Detroit church group.  As an aunt and grandmother she was a loving and encouraging voice. As a longtime member of Central United Protestant Church, she found consolation from her faith and her friends when Jack died in 1998.  She truly strove to be her brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, and lived with dignity, grace, and an open heart.

Eleanor is survived by her son Robin (Kim) of Lafayette, CO; daughter, Jean of Walla Walla, WA; grandchildren: Sarah, Elizabeth, Tyler, Lucas, and Carla; two great-grandchildren: Marcus and Imani; 14 nieces and nephews; brother-in-law, David; and sisters-in-law: Susan, Naomi, Kay and Lydia. She was preceded in death by her sister, Irene and three brothers-in-law. Her ashes will be laid to rest next to Jack’s at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Eleanor “Ellie” Corley

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