The Rev. Ellen Madison Neville died on June 12, 1998, at the home of a friend in Knoxville, TN, enroute to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Charlotte, N.C.
She was born October 27, 1957, one of five beloved daughters of William J. (Bill) Madison and Margaret B. (Marge) Madison. She attended elementary and high school in Salt Lake City, graduating with honors from Cottonwood High School where she lettered in gymnastics and swimming. A graduate of Westminster College, Salt Lake City, she was a member of the National Scholastic Honor Society and named "Who's Who in American Colleges." On May 21, 1989 she graduated from Austin Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas with a Master of Divinity Degree. She was ordained in Ponca City, OK., as a minister of the World and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on March 18, 1990. She served pastorates in Oklahoma and Colorado before being called as a prison chaplain in Rockville, Indiana. Following her ministry in Indiana, she was called as the first chaplain of the Northeast Pre-Release center (a women's prison) in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was serving at the time of her death. She had served the Presbyterian Church in many capacities which included three summer internships in the inner cities of Los Angeles, Chicago Heights and Mexico City. She was a youth steward at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to her prison ministry, she preached on a regular basis in many local churches in Indiana and Ohio and was a member of the Peace and Justice Committee of the presbytery. Her devotion to the needs of the women at the prison led her to spend many hours procuring items that would make their lives better and organizing events that would encourage and stimulate them. Their spiritual needs were of highest priority for her and prison ministry was truly her calling.Her friends and family will remember her for her loving concern, zest for life and enthusiasm. She possessed a determination to make the world a better place and was a spark which touched many with whom she came in contact; family, friends, co-workers, women at the prison and internet friends.
Ellen married the love of her life, Robert J. (Bob) Neville Jr. on June 28, 1997 (her great-grandmother's wedding anniversary) in Cleveland, Ohio. Their short time together was one of mutual sharing, great happiness and joy. Bob was her constant companion as she preached and gathered items for the women around the state of Ohio.
She was a member of Chapter M, PEO Sisterhood in Cleveland and Honored Queen of Bethel 13, Job's Daughters of Salt Lake, Utah.
She is survived by her husband, Bob; three step children, David, Michael and Laura; mother, Marge; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mark and Margee Ruff, George and Nanette Peppin, the Rev. Carol and John Shellenberger, Jean and Seve Hejduk, Tony and Marie Neville and mother and father-in-law, Robert and Adele Neville, and nine nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her sister, Kathleen Knigge and father, William J. (Bill) Madison.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, 2800 Euclid Ave, Suite 500, Cleveland, Ohio 44115. The fund will be dedicated to prison ministry. Gifts should be designate for the "Ellen Masison Neville Memorial."
A memorial service will be held at Cottonwood Presbyterian Church, 1580 East Vine St., Salt Lake City, UT, 7 p.m. June 30, 1998. The family will receive friends at a recption following the service. A memorial service was held at an earlier date in Cleveland, Ohio.
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