She was born Sept. 24, 1922 in Marindahl Township, Yankton County, SD to Martin and Elizabeth (Lee) Anderson. She attended Clay Valley rural school for eight years, graduated from Irene High School, completed her two year teacher's certificate at Augustana College in 1941 and completed her four year degree at Augustana College in 1970.
She began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher in Cresbard, where she met Deane Williams. They were married Oct. 15, 1943 and then moved to Fresno, CA for several months while Deane completed his Basic Training. Following WWII, Deane and Ellie moved to her parent's farm near Irene and began farming. They moved to Day, MN in 1952, but returned to the family farm in 1957 where they raised their five children.
Their children attended Clay Valley School and each fall as the school bells rang, Ellie was reminded how she longed to be back teaching, so in 1960 she returned to teaching in Yankton County's rural schools. In 1971 she became a sixth grade teacher in Irene. She received Irene's "Outstanding Educator" award in 1982.
She retired from teaching in 1985 and was honored when her last sixth grade class asked her to be their graduation speaker.
Ellie enjoyed time with her family, reading, gardening in the summer, traveling and attending Irene school events. She loved living on their "Century Farm". She had a great love of her state and its history and played a large role in compiling the information and writing The History of Irene published for Irene's centennial.
Grandma Ellie was much loved by her grandchildren. They knew time spent at Grandma's house would bring lots of fun things to do with her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Deane and sister Mildred.
Blessed by her life survivors include daughters, Lana (Charles) Reich, Ortonville, MN, Dauna (Jerry) Rennaker, Sun City, AZ, and Melanie Williams, Mankato, MN; sons, Greg (Rita) Williams, Ekalaka, MT, Zane (Laure) Williams, Irene; grandchildren, Nicole (William) Reich, Grant (Heidi) Reich, Ryan (Nancy) Reich, Seth Rennaker, Jason (Heather) Rennaker, Shaunda (Paul) Braun, Raquel Williams, Jake (Karrol) Williams, Tye Williams, Maggie Flantz, Geordie Flantz, Alicia Williams and Brooke Williams; great-grandchildren, Tia and Kley Reich, and Alex Williams.
Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, with a prayer service to begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Hansen Funeral Home in Irene.
Funeral services were 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at Calvary Lutheran Church. Burial followed in Hillcrest Cemetery at Irene.