Genevieve Anne Ellis, age 84, passed away Nov 6, 2022, at Monument Health in Rapid City, with her sons by her side.
Gen was born in Newcastle on April 14, 1938 to Stanley II and Mabel (Elliott) Pzinski. She spent her childhood on the family ranch, being raised with her sister Lorene, and brother Stanley III, with numerous cousins and extended family nearby to play and socialize with. Gen met her husband of 68 years, John, in high school and they were married at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. John and Gen were blessed with two sons, John Stanley, and Craig Lawrence.
Gen attended Newcastle schools, with the exception of first grade which she learned at home. She graduated from Newcastle High school in 1956. Her high school career included activities with school clubs such as Future Teachers of America, Future Homemakers of America, Glee Club, Pep Club, and track. She was also active in the youth organizations at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Never one to be idle, from the age of 7 she became an associate member of 4-H and received many awards throughout the years for style and construction of clothing, home beautification, foods, landscaping, and judging.
Gen continued her post high school education through Independent Study, Correspondence Courses, and summer sessions at Black Hills State College. She excelled in courses such as oil, pastel, acrylic, and watercolor painting, pottery and ceramics, various crafts and interior design and decoration. She shared her gifts with the community by providing local children and adults with private art lessons. She later served as a paraprofessional at Gertrude Burns Elementary School running the Rewards Center and helping teach art classes.
Additionally, Gen helped out with Cub Scouts, serving as Den Mother, and as a member of the Cub Scout Council. She was a 4-H leader for many years in the Clothing and Home Improvement categories. Gen took great pride in her boys, creating a welcoming home, and being a superb hostess. In 1959, she was awarded Top Home Improvement Leader for Weston County from the University of Wyoming. She also organized the Home Extension Group called “The Artful Homemakers” and was secretary-treasurer and president of the Home Extension Council.
In 1974, when her husband John and son John Stanley formed the J and J Construction business, Gen rolled up her sleeves and worked right alongside the men. This included an extensive rejuvenation of an entire block of Walden Avenue in Newcastle. This neighborhood dated back to the 1890s and included outhouses and horse corrals as well as nearly 100 years of accumulated rubble. The family cleaned up the area and replaced it with new homes, essentially creating their own neighborhood. In total, J and J construction built more than 23 homes in the Newcastle area. Gen was responsible for much of the interior design and painting of these homes. Additionally, John and Gen owned multiple rental properties and operated two mobile home courts in the area.
For more than 25 years, Gen served as bookkeeper, sales associate, chief custodian, and display artist for Weston County True Value which her son John Stanley purchased in 1988. Husband John worked at the True Value every Saturday and after his shift at the Wyoming Transportation Department. Son Craig, a teacher, worked many summer breaks. Gen loved this time with the family all working together and visiting with the numerous friends and family who would drop by to chat.
Gen was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley II and Mabel, her husband John, her brother Stanley III, brother’s-in-law Eddie Linke, Wayne Burr, and Dean Ray, and sister-in-law Ruth Ann Ray. She is survived by her sons and their wives: John (Janelle), and Craig (Renel), her sister Lorene Linke, sisters-in-law: Mary Lou Burr and Judi Pzinski, grandchildren: Jessica, Jordan (Kelsey), Cameron (Megan), and Avery, great-grandchildren: Waylon, Bristol, Nolan, and Bennett, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:00 a.m. Friday, November 11 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Father Brian Hess officiating.