WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Ellen L. Secaur died peacefully (92 years young) on Dec. 5, 2019, in North Carolina, where she had lived for the past several years.
Ellen, known as “Biddy” to her family and friends, was born in Auburn, N.Y., and was graduated from Holy Family High School. She married Robert P. Secaur on Sept. 5, 1949 and they recently celebrated their milestone 70th year of marriage.
Ellen is survived by her devoted husband, Bob; as well as her children, Suzanne (and Jim) Brady, Cynthia Day, Beth (and Bill) Westfall, Monica (and Paul) Raad, Jason Secaur, and Aimee (and Mike) Kool. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Eric Secaur, Caitlin Maratea, Amanda Day VanSwearingen, Alethea Brady, Zachary Day, Robert Raad, Aaron Secaur, April Secaur, and Juliette Raad; as well as several great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. Ellen was proud of all of her children and grandchildren. She worried about them whenever they faced challenges in their lives, but she delighted even more in their successes. She especially cherished her time with her grandchildren.
Ellen took great pride in her Irish heritage and had the pleasure of visiting her relatives in Rathvilly, County Carlow, Ireland, the home town of her father, Michael Francis Corrigan. He died in 1959 and her mother, Helen Lanigan Corrigan, died in 1971. Ellen was also predeceased by her sister, Winifred Corrigan, and her brothers, Michael, Raymond, and Jackie Corrigan; as well as her lifelong best friend, Evelyn Mizro, who she missed every day (but is undoubtedly trading stories with now). Ellen deeply mourned the death of her son, Scott M. Secaur, in 2016.
As a young woman, Ellen enjoyed roller skating and dancing. She became an accomplished cook and the holidays were not complete without her shrimp dip and sausage roll. Her recipes are treasured by her children and grandchildren. Ellen enjoyed many careers in addition to raising seven children, including being a lab technician at General Electric, retail sales at Sibley’s Department Stores and several other stores, and a sales representative for Ryan Homes in Syracuse. In her retirement years, she honed her talent as the consummate shopper and perfected the art of finding the best bargains.
Biddy and Bob enjoyed many travels in their retirement, including trips to Hawaii, Ireland, Las Vegas, California visits with their daughters, and several winters in Florida. In 1995, Biddy and Bob relocated to the Binghamton, N.Y. area and grew to enjoy the Southern Tier, especially dining out at Little Venice and Cortese Restaurants and shopping at Boscov’s Department Store. In 2014, Ellen and Bob relocated again, this time to Winston-Salem, N.C., where they have resided with their daughter, Cynthia, who has been their devoted caregiver ever since.
Biddy will be deeply missed by her family and friends as the true matriarch and force of nature that she was.
A memorial service honoring her life will be held in Auburn, N.Y. in the spring of 2020.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at whitechapelfh.com.
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