Eleanore's Story

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COOPERSTOWN — Eleanore (Ellsworth) MacDougall, 80, died of a sudden heart attack on Saturday evening, Nov. 21, 2015, at her home in Cooperstown. 
She was the daughter of the late Waldo and Dorris (Gouldhart) Ellsworth of Cooperstown and granddaughter of the late Ralph Waldo Ellsworth, a founder of Ellsworth & Sill’s clothing store. She is survived by her husband, Hugh Cooke MacDougall of Cooperstown; brother, Robert Ellsworth of Washington, D.C., and his sons, Eric and Holly Ellsworth of Washington, D.C., Brian and Isabel Ellsworth of Caracas, Venezuela and Andrew and Janeen Ellsworth of Pittsburgh, Pensylvania; brother, Paul and Anne Ellsworth of Dennis Port, Massachusetts; and his daughter, Col. Katherine (Ellsworth) Oler, U.S. Air Force.
She was born in Cooperstown on Jan. 26, 1935 and attended Cooperstown Central School until her graduation in 1952. After attending Radcliffe College for one year, and spending several years in secretarial work in Boston, she graduated from Boston University in 1958, where she participated in several choirs. Always interested in music, she moved to New York City where she took evening classes at the Julliard School of Music. In the later 1960s she was for ,more than three years a caseworker for the New York Welfare Department, in charge of about 50 families in East Harlem.
In 1970, she renewed an old friendship with Hugh MacDougall, a United State Foreign Service Officer then on temporary assignment in New York City, and on Dec. 26, 1970, they were married at Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown. They have no children.
She accompanied her husband for 15 years on assignments in East Africa as Deputy Principal Officer (1971 to 74) at the American Consulate General in Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), and as Political Officer (1974 to 76) at the American Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and finally in Southeast Asia as Counsellor for Political and Economic Affairs (1981to 84) at the American Embassy in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar), as well as on his several assignments at the Department of State in Washington.
While overseas, in addition to the constant social activities required of wives of senior U.S. Diplomats, she was active in local organizations including the 4th Congress of Southern African Women held in Mozambique in 1973, local women’s welfare groups in Tanzania and Burma, and the activities of local Episcopal churches. She also taught piano and sang in a variety of choruses.
Following her husband’s retirement from the Foreign Service in 1986, they returned to Cooperstown, where she taught piano. She also took organ lessons and served for several years as pianist/choir director, and then as organist for the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, as well as participating in activities of the Oneonta Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. For many years she was an accompanist and singer in the annual Fly Creek Philharmonic comedy production. She was a long-time member of Christ Episcopal Church, and at the time of her death an alto in its choir.
From 2006 to 2011, she was a member of the board of trustees of the Cooperstown Village Library, serving as its secretary from 2008 to 2011. She was also a member of the Garden Discussion Group, Village Democratic Committee, League of Women Voters, Otsego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Glimmerglass Opera Guild.
A Memorial Service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, Cooperstown at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, with Curate Matthew Stromberg officiating. Eleanore’s ashes will be interred in the spring in the Christ Church Columbarium Wall.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that contributions in Eleanore’s memory be made to the Cooperstown Food Pantry, 25 Church St., Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Funeral arrangements are by the Tillapaugh Funeral Service in Cooperstown.
Published on  December 3, 2015
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