Ellen P. McKenney, 66: Possessed extraordinary courage
PORTLAND — Ellen P. McKenney, 66, of Portland, died peacefully April 17, 11 years after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
McKenney was born July 24, 1946, in Washington, D.C. She was raised in Portland, the eldest of John and Catherine Lee’s nine children. She attended Portland schools and worked in early childhood development at East End Children’s Workshop for more than 28 years until her illness forced her to retire.
She loved hosting family gatherings, walking Baxter Boulevard, fishing and especially enjoyed her trip to Italy shortly before her illness. Above all, her passion was children, from helping her parents with her eight younger brothers and sisters to raising her three sons and spending time with her three grandchildren, along with teaching the countless numbers of kids in her classes.
McKenney was an extraordinary woman who will be deeply missed. Her courage and character amazed anyone who had the opportunity to meet her.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Saint Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence for the care and compassion they showed Ellen for more than 10 years.
McKenney was predeceased by her parents, John J. and Catherine Lee; and her two brothers, Rocco and Dennis. She is survived by her children, Michael, of Portland, Joseph, and his wife, Christine, of Gorham, Scott, of Virginia; and her grandchildren Matthew, Adam and Ella. She is also survived by her sisters, Andrea Lee, of Portland, Kathleen Horton, of Alabama, Donna Lee, of South Portland, and Cynthia Berenson, of Portland; her brothers, John Lee, of the Philippines, Michael Lee, of Florida; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service was held April20 at A.T. Hutchins Funeral and Cremation Services in Portland, with interment at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.