Eleanor (Ellie) Saunders Olmstead Parrott
September 22, 2020
Rockport, Mass. - Eleanor (Ellie) Saunders Olmstead Parrott, 89, died
peacefully on Tuesday, September 22 at her home surrounded by her family.
She was born in Paterson, N.J., on May 20, 1931, to the late Lt. Hugh
Douglas Olmstead, U.S. Coast Guard, and Eleanor (Wennerberg) Olmstead. Her
father's career with the Coast Guard moved their family to New Jersey,
Florida, Washington, and Mississippi during the first 16 years of her life.
In 1948, her family returned to Gloucester and settled in her maternal
grandparents' home on Plum St., East Gloucester, and Ellie joined the senior
class and graduated from Gloucester High School, Class of 1949.
Eleanor attended Boston University 1949-53, (B.S. Elementary Education,1953)
where she enjoyed college life to the fullest, being very active and holding
leadership positions in many groups including her sorority Alpha Gamma
Delta. She met her former husband, Charles R. Parrott at B.U., and they
married following graduation. For the next seven years, they lived in NH,
Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Japan, where Eleanor taught elementary education
both on and off the Air Force bases where they were stationed, and started
their family with their first three children in Oklahoma.
The family settled in Rockport in 1963 and soon after welcomed their
youngest child. In addition to raising four children and substitute
teaching, Ellie was also active in the community with the Garden Club, 4-H
Club, League of Women Voters, and Congregational Church during these years.
In 1973, she returned to full-time teaching in Gloucester as well as
continued her education completing a Master's in Education plus 60 graduate
credits. Most of her teaching career was at Beeman Memorial School in
Gloucester as a beloved third-grade teacher in Room 9. Ellie was a natural
teacher and when asked what she loved about teaching, she said "I have fun
every day. I have the most fun watching them catch on, giving them an
assignment, and then seeing them sparkle with excitement at solving whatever
the task is. That makes me most happy. I just glow inside and have a really
wonderful feeling of fun and satisfaction."
During summers and after retiring from her 40-year teaching career, she
enjoyed many interests, including sailing, gardening, traveling near and
far, antiquing, reading, taking art classes (painting), craft and wreath
making for St Mary's Church, exploring the genealogy of Olmstead and
Wennerberg families, playing bridge, and spending time with her children and
extended family as well as many friends across the country and on Cape Ann.
Her humor and fun-loving spirit, curiosity, love of learning, and generosity
will be missed by all who knew her.
Ellie is survived by her four children, Nancy Olson and her husband Richard
of Rockport, MA, Jane Tutein and her husband, Jeffrey of Rockport, MA, Bryan
Parrott, D.V.M of Ipswich, Laurie Parrott of Rockport, MA., and six
grandchildren: Jason C. Olson, Elizabeth Olson Harrington (Sean), Julie
Olson Brown (Liam), Kevin T. Olson (Zan), Adam R. Parrott, Olivia C.
Parrott. She is also survived by her four great-grandchildren, her
sister-in-law, Sheila Olmstead of Falmouth, Maine; her nephew Jonathan
Olmstead and his wife Nancy of North Portland, Maine, and her niece,
Caroline Wallach and her husband Scott of Rye, NY; and 3 grand nieces and
nephews; and many Olmstead and Wennerberg cousins. Her brother, Hugh D.
Olmstead, Jr., and sister Doris E. Olmstead predeceased her.
Due to COVID, a private graveside service was held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery,
Gloucester, on Monday, September 28. In lieu of flowers, contributions may
be made in her name to St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 34 Broadway Ave,
Rockport, MA or Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA
01923. Arrangements by the Campbell Funeral Home, 61 Middle Street,
Gloucester. Information, directions, condolences at