In In Memoriam

Cynthia Anne Ellis


Cynthia Anne Ellis, 69, died on December 4, 2020 in Seattle after a valiant ten-year battle with cancer. Cynthia was born March 4, 1951 in Wakefield, NE to Lester Ellis and Rowena (Krause) Ellis. She graduated from the Allen NE Consolidated School System in 1969 and from the University of Nebraska, with Distinction, in 1973. She also attended the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA.

Cynthia’s legacy of kindness, generosity, beauty, and intelligence will live forever among her family and many friends, all of whom adored her. With great enthusiasm, she embraced a wide range of interests, including writing, singing, piano, baseball, dogs, drama, opera, and travel. She was beloved for her steadfast friendships, genuine curiosity, questing spirit, and wickedly playful sense of humor.

Whether dressing up as Patsy for an Ab-Fab party, reciting a Shakespeare soliloquy at a psychology conference, or singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, Cynthia was all in. She would drop everything if you needed a sympathetic ear, an emergency lasagna, or help on moving day. Everyone loved her sense of style and femininity––pink patent-leather heels, gorgeous shades of lipstick, a signature scent––but she was iron-strong underneath.

She volunteered for 20 years as a reader and reviewer at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. With her gift for empathy and compassion, she excelled at her job interviewing families of those harmed in traumatic accidents. She loved traveling with her friends to New York, LA, Paris, Tuscany, Mexico, Maui, and the Virgin Islands. All who met her were captured by her natural warmth, fine mind, melodious laughter, and steady, blue-eyed gaze.

She will be missed by many; those who knew her are “twice blest.” Cynthia is survived by her brother Brian and sister-in-law Roxanne, of Norfolk, NE; her longtime partner, James Gowin and his daughters, Jaime Gowin Thatcher, Jenna Gowin Farley, and Brenna Gowin; niece Hiedi Marr and her husband Josh Kesting; great nephew Jakson Kesting and great niece Aubri Kesting; great niece Jasmine Marr; and a slew of wonderful, fun, interesting cousins from one coast to the other.

Donations in her honor may be made to or To request a Zoom link for her memorial, email

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