Ellen Margaret Quigley
Our beloved matriarch, “Nana,” passed away peacefully surrounded by family and love on Christmas Day, at 97. Born in Colorado Springs July 27, 1913, to Michael and Mary Higgins, immigrants from County Cork, Ireland, Ellen was the third child of three brothers and two sisters. Ellen met her husband of 60 years, Dan, on St. Patrick’s Day in 1945. They were married November 22 that same year and settled on the Quigley ranch in Spring Valley. A city girl from birth, Ellen quickly learned to trade in her stilettos for work boots, how to bake bread, pies, and make dinner for the many ranchers that flocked to her kitchen. Recognizing the value their land would hold for generations, in 1966 Dan and Ellen, along with Dan’s brother Jim and several other neighbors, gifted a portion of their ranches to the Colorado Mountain College campus, which today is home to several educational buildings including the Quigley Library. Later in life, Dan and Ellen enjoyed the sun and casinos of Bullhead City, Ariz., for 27 winters.
To all who knew her, Ellen had a quick wit and was a cherished, honest friend. She always greeted with a smile and left you with sincerity. Her memories of the 1940s were as clear as yesterday, and she would share them with anyone who had a minute to spare, whether you were her neighbor or a new friend met in the airport. Ellen loved to travel; in her 90s alone she visited relatives and many pubs in Ireland for the second time, she ventured across the seas to see her granddaughter in Australia and New Zealand, and of course was always up for a trip to Blackhawk. Ellen was a devoted Catholic Daughter, having been a member of St. Stephen’s Catholic Family since 1945, she was recently awarded the first St. Anne’s Lifetime of Service Award for the many years she spent giving and dedicating to this parish.
Nana taught us to appreciate the little things in life; to have faith, love your family and friends with all your heart, and always be honest and true to your values. She will be missed but will always have a place in our hearts and in this valley.
Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Dan, her three brothers and two sisters. Ellen is survived by her three daughters, Marianne (John) Ackerman of Glenwood Springs, Sheila (Ed) Allen of Rifle, Patricia (Carl) Golden of Bullhead City, Ariz.; 6 grandchildren, Todd, Katie, Amy, Kelsie, Dan and Danelle; two nieces, Julia Spaeth and Helen Rosenbaum; two nephews, Mike and Pat Higgins; brother-in-law Fred Cooper; and one great-grandson due in February.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Stephens’ Catholic Church on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 10 a.m. A rosary will be recited at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to CMC Scholarship Fund, St. Stephen’s Scholarship Fund or Hospice of the Valley.
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