Ella Mae (Fort) Marshall transitioned to her Heavenly Father’s home surrounded by family on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at the age of 88, after a lengthy illness. Ella Mae was born on February 24, 1934, in Chidester, Arkansas, to Lonnie Sr. and Ruth Ella Fort. She received her formal education in Arkansas before moving to Illinois.
Ella Mae moved to Rockford, IL where she lived more than sixty-five years. She married Namon Marshall on November 24,1958 where the love of God was the driving force in their lives. She was employed at Flowers By Connie where she worked alongside her sister, Evester. Ella Mae had a compassionate heart wanting to help young women which lead her to become a caregiver. She operated a home-based childcare business for twenty-five years. The hallmark of her business was that each child became a member of her family during the time they spent in care and beyond. She offered love, advice, and correction. Her last employment was with Collins and Stone Funeral Home.
Ella Mae was a member of Allen Chapel AME Church for sixty years. She served in numerous capacities: the Usher Board, Francis L Walker Lay Organization, and Nora Taylor Missionary Society. She received her missionary Torch Lighter stole in 2020 for her dedicated years of service to church and community. Ella Mae lent her skills to cooking and serving at church events and fundraisers. Her baked goods were always requested by persons in attendance.
Ella Mae was a loving, kind and generous mother, grandmother, and aunt. Her home was always open for any family occasion, birthday, and holidays. If you showed up uninvited, you were welcomed in with food and great conversation. She loved her family, cooking and socializing with people. In her early days she supported and attended her grandkids sports activities and was excited to be in attendance. She had a passion for gardening, playing bingo and watching food network channels. She was a faithful volunteer at St. Elizabeth Soup Kitchen for many years.
Ella Mae leaves to cherish many loving memories, to her two daughters: Monica Marshall and DeSatra (Calvin) Miller, son-in-law John Robinson; grandchildren: Marlin Robinson, Mario Marshall, Da’Mon (Savannah) Ferguson, Marshaun Malone Sr., Dathian Ferguson; great grandchildren: Shaquille Robinson, Jermaine Robinson, Naomi Robinson, X’Zavier Robinson, Aaliyah Robinson, Malik Marshall, Myah Marshall, Da’Mi Ferguson, Dreux Ferguson, DaMara Ferguson, Marshaun Malone Jr.; great-great grandchild: Kelani Nelson; brother Alifornzia Fort and two god children Shawna (Jon) Kennedy and Lauren Rock, special/family Sylvia Bowman (niece), Tyona Veley ( niece), Gary Brown ( nephew) Verna McGlone, Joyce Smith, Caretha Collins, Pearl Rock and Terry Rock as well as a host of other relatives and friends.
Ella Mae was pre-deceased by her husband, Namon; daughter, JoAnn Robinson, her parents, and siblings: Lonnie Fort Jr., Fred Fort, John Fort, Herbert Fort, Suler Cunningham, Evester Buford, Jeanester Brown and, Martha Veley-Hughes.
Services will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday March 19, 2022 at Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church 3000 Rural St., Burial in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation 11 a.m. until the time of service. Arrangements completed by Collins & Stone Funeral Home 128 S 5th Street.
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