Beloved mother of 12 children,
Adored grandmother of 47 and
Cherished Great-Grandmother of 59
Ellen passed away on July 6, 2023, surrounded by many of her precious family members.
Ellen May Rollins was born on May 12, 1931, to David Leroy Rollins and Evelyn Hansen Rollins in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. Ellen was the youngest of five children. She grew up babysitting her nieces and nephews since her siblings were much older. She used to say, "How can you ever stop having babies, because each one is so different, and you will always want to know what the next one will be like?" This served to establish the true purpose of her life, her Family!
Ellen was always a great artist, designing her high school emblem and school ring among many other projects. She was awarded a scholarship to a prestigious art school in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which she attended for a short time. Her path soon turned to BYU which she attended every other year. In order to pay for school, she would work various jobs such as Dental assistant and telephone operator for a year and then attend BYU the following year. After completing two years of school in 4 years, Ellen worked long enough to pay for a full -time mission. She served her mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Eastern Canada. There, she briefly met a missionary. After reuniting at BYU, sparks flew, and this young man became her future husband.
Ellen married Arnold James Stringham on July 19, 1957, in the Cardston Alberta Temple. They both had the vision of raising a large family. Over 17 years they had 12 living children and mourned over 20 miscarriages. They had 2 girls, then 10 boys. Or you could say they gave birth to two basketball teams with a cheerleader for each team.
With a large family, Ellen created Endeavor Enterprises, endeavoring to pay for her childrens' future missions. Ellen, and a least 2 or 3 children at a time, would travel throughout the western states and into Canada imprinting names on seminary student's scriptures. They were well known and loved by all the seminary teachers.
Arnold and Ellen later divorced, sending Ellen back to school where she received her R.N. license in her 50's. She worked at 7-Eleven while attending school and raising her younger children. Ellen spent about 20 years working full time as a nurse. She first worked for the Salt Lake Clinic and later as a home health nurse for children with critical medical conditions.
After Ellen retired, she desired to again serve missions and also to serve as an ordinance worker, as her mother had served in the Cardston Temple. Ellen served for many years in the Jordan River Temple, usually serving 3 days a week. When she wasn't serving in the temple, she served several missions including: The Family History Library Mission, the original Salt Lake City Inter-City Mission, and the Church Employment Mission.
Ellen's family was the most important thing in her life. She found great joy planning events that gathered her loved ones together, providing them with comforting and delicious food, a game or two, and pleasant conversation and precious memories. She faithfully and lovingly served in each calling she received, especially as a ministering sister. She created monthly birthday luncheons, for the lonely, that inspired friendships and companionship. Ellen was always in search of someone she could serve. Her love was boundless and unprejudiced. Her love for The Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel was firm and unwavering. Her life bore evidence of her many Christ-like virtues which were abundant and manifested in a lifetime of love and service. Ellen never intentionally made a wrong choice. Her heart was pure and enormous. Everyone was her 'favorite' friend. Ellen has left the world sprinkled with her loving influence. Ellen will be dearly missed and our relationship with her will be forever treasured. As we reminisce upon our experiences with Ellen, may the memories inspire us to be as she was: diligently engaged in striving to be a little better. She touched our lives for good, made us a little better, and we will continually be blessed because of her influence.
Ellen is survived by her children Eve (Kevin Swenson), Cindra (Jeff Bush), Kyle, Kameron (Robyn), Templar (Laurie), McKay, Destyn (Rebecca), Justan (Jessi), Christopher (Jennifer); 47 grandchildren, and 59 great-grandchildren. Each child is precious and unique, and she always eagerly awaited the next baby with the awe of discovering their individual uniqueness. She will cheerfully embrace the children yet to come and send them on their journey with her unconditional love. Her legacy of faith and love will continue to expand as each new descendant crosses the horizon -- all blessed by belonging to Ellen.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents, David Leroy and Evelyn Rollins, her 4 siblings, her sons, Kody (Luanne), Quin, and Valiant, her granddaughter, Holly Swenson, her grandson Joshua Belen, and her great-grandson Austin O'Neal. She has been happily anticipating their joyful reunions.
In Ellen's honor, funeral services will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at the River 5th Ward Church building located at 1380 W 6785 S, West Jordan, Utah. Prior to the funeral there will be a viewing from 10:00-10:45 a.m. The burial will be at the Orem City Cemetery.