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Eleanor 'Ellie' Garvie, 94

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Ellie Garvie died peacefully in her sleep early morning January, 8, 2019, at Hillcrest Commons Nursing and Rehabilitations facility in Pittsfield, Mass. She was 94 years old.

Ellie was the daughter of Ernest Ames and Martha Dempsey. She was born on July 21 1924, in Lawrence, Mass., and later moved as a child to Williamstown, Mass., and graduated from Williamstown High School.

Her love of music started at the early age of 5 years old. She played both piano and the organ throughout her life. Music became her career but it was the passion that lasted until the day she died.

She was the wife of the late Clifford George and the late Joe Garvie. In her early years as a young woman newly married, she became a plane spotter in Pownal, Vt., during WWII while her husband served as a Marine.

Later on, Ellie was Post Master for years with Clifford in Pownal, opening the first post office from their own home. Later they relocated the postal service from their home to the Post Office that remains in Pownal today.  In 1948 Ellie and Cliff had a son, Kirt Ernest George. Ellie and her family became well known in their community.

With her first husband they would either play a "gig" or have "jam sessions" in their basement every Saturday. Then on Sunday they would go to church and she would play the organ. On one particular Sunday, church ended differently. The Pastor told Cliff and Ellie to "take it." Before you knew it they were playing Jazz for the congregation ending the service. 

Ellie was a very accomplished woman when it came to her love of music. Ellie played in big bands in NYC as well danced on stage in NYC during wartime. 

Ellie was later married to Joe Garvie. In 1964, Ellie and Joe had a daughter, Jacqueline Garvie, and lived in North Adams for many years.

For the most part of her life she played the piano and organ on Saturdays with many bands like Ellie Garvie Quartet and Ellie Garvie and the Wildcats, just to name a couple. She played weddings, parties and the 1896 House in Williamstown.  She once played for President Harry S. Truman in Manchester Vt., and even received a kiss upon her cheek from Sir Anthony Hopkins in Williamstown, telling her she was a beautiful woman. 

Ellie was a real firecracker of a woman. She loved to play jokes and mess with you. For instance, Ellie and her son had a long lasting joke between them as he would hide things under her pillow just before leaving after a visit, so she couldn't give it back. At the same time she would sneak out and hide things in his vehicle that he wouldn't discover until much later after leaving. 

Ellie is survived by her son, Kirt George of Chatham N.Y.; daughter Jacqueline Garvie of Cheshire Mass.; nine grandchildren, Andrea Miller of Troy N.Y., Damon George of East Greenbush, Celine, Kirt Jr., Angelina, Katelyn, and Rebekah George, and Nicole and Gabrielle Schneider; three great-grandchildren, McKenna George Fleming and Brianna and Hayley George; nine nieces, Ginger Shields-Brady, Cindy, Linda, Wanda, Debbie, Brenda, Beth, Christine and Valerie; and four nephews, include William, Terry, Ricky and Steve.

Ellie was predeceased by her four sisters, Marge Jones, Ruth Love, Herriet George and Dorothy Boucher; two nephews, Kevin and Lee; as well as one niece, Claudia.

Funeral notice: Calling hours will be held Wednesday, January 16, 2019, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Flynn and Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, 521 West Main St., North Adams, Mass.

She was a wonderful woman who loved her family deeply.  She often said she had a "Great Family." Eleanor "Ellie" Francis Garvie will be missed by many and loved by all. May she play for her God and the Angels in the sky while looking over her family guiding them along their paths.

Obituary Provided By: Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals

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I wish the extended family my deepest condolences and may the light of god guide you through your time of need.
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