Ann M. Ellsessar, 89: WWII Land Girl, chief telephone operator

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Ann McDonald Ellsessar, 89, died Sept. 13, surrounded by family.

She was born on May 26, 1924, in Liverpool, England, a daughter of Edward and Ann McDonald.

Ellsessar grew up in a large family of eight children in Liverpool, and during World War II was a member of the Women’s Land Army. It was during this time that she met her lifelong friend, Pat Angelone. She later traveled to the United States to visit Angelone, found work and decided to stay. Ellsessar eventually became a U.S. citizen, inspired by her admiration of John F. Kennedy.

She embraced the U.S. and especially Maine as her home, and was always engaged in its politics. Ellsessar led a successful professional career, rising through the ranks of the New England Telephone Company until her retirement in 1982. She was admired and respected by her colleagues for the way that she carried out her responsibilities as the company’s chief operator.

After retiring, Ellsessar moved to Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth. Her interests included bird watching, reading and gardening at her home. She always enjoyed spending time with friends, and made frequent trips back to England to visit her family.

She is predeceased by her seven sisters and brothers and her husband, James.

She is survived by nieces and nephews in the U.S. and England. She was much loved by and in regular contact with many of them.

She will be missed and remembered for her quick smile, sense of humor and her strong feelings about fairness and social justice.

Burial will be private. Arrangements are by Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Patricia Angelone Breast Cancer Education Center at Mercy Hospital, c/o Mercy Development Office, 144 State St., Portland, ME 04101.