Ella Jane Millspaugh was born March 21, 1941 in Alexandria, Indiana to Clem R. and Jane I. (Holland) Millspaugh. Her mother died when Ella Jane was only 6 years old. Her father later remarried and Addie Millspaugh became Ella Jane’s step-mother. Ella Jane was the second of Clem’s 6 daughters and is survived by sisters Barbara Anne (Millspaugh) Bobbitt, Rita Mae (Millspaugh) Waterman, Vickie Rhea Millspaugh and three brothers-in-law Robert Low, Ronald Schildmeier, and Jimmy Waterman, 4 nieces, 4 nephews, 8 great-nieces and 3 great-nephews. Beloved sisters Mary Jo ( Millspaugh) Lowe and Nancy (Millspaugh) Schildmeier and brother-in-law Lawrence A. Bobbitt III preceded her in death.
Ella Jane joined the Traynor family when she married William (Bill) C. Traynor on March 21, 1970. She is survived by a large family, 3 generations deep. Stepsons: W. Patrick (Sally) Traynor of Tucson, AZ; R. Michael (Chris) Traynor of Chandler, AZ. Daughter-in-law Debbie Traynor of Mesa, AZ. 9 grandchildren: Brian Traynor and his daughter, Natalie of Tucson, AZ and his sons David and Darian of Portland, OR; Matthew (Ann) Traynor and their children Sarah, Jason, Nicole, Kate, Max and Lucy of Idaho Falls, ID; William Traynor of Ammon, ID; Emily (Eric) Olsen and their children Reid, Alec, Dane, Henry, Nora, William Beck, and Rose of Colorado Springs, CO; Anne (Greg) Crowther and their children Elizabeth, Joseph, and Gabriel of Tucson, AZ; Sean Traynor and his fiancé Gina Pezzorello of Chandler, AZ; Erin (Kevin) Rhineheimer and their children Kinley, Jackson and Harrison of Gilbert, AZ; Lisa (Matt) Tomnitz and their children Cameron and Delilah of Gilbert, AZ; Lara Traynor and her daughters Ciera and Karina of Mesa, AZ; Navajo daughter Lorraine Kelwood and her daughters Candice and Courtney of Window Rock, AZ. Ella Jane was preceded in death by her husband William (Bill) C. Traynor, stepson Robert Blaine Traynor and granddaughter-in-law Stamatia Traynor.
Ella Jane attended Eureka college in Eureka, IL. She truly treasured this time in her life and continued to hold the school in the highest regard throughout her lifetime with heartfelt appreciation for the relationships she forged there. She graduated from Eureka college in 1963 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and then went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Education from Ball State in 1966. After moving to AZ in 1966, she began her 28-year career as an English teacher at Mesa High School. During this time, she mentored and inspired countless teachers as well as students before retiring from teaching in 1994. Retirement brought her many new friends, but also years of work on new projects including farming/ranching in MO, and ownership of The Red Sage restaurant in Gold Canyon, AZ.
Ella Jane was raised in the Disciples of Christ church and always felt at home in these congregations. She found her most recent church families at New Harmony Church in Pike County, MO and EMCC in Mesa, AZ. She reveled in her service in children’s ministries, care and visitation of homebound elderly, and women’s groups including 5-years of service as President of DWM, which she reluctantly stepped down from when she could no longer serve due to health issues.
Ella Jane was blessed to spend time in several of God’s beautiful landscapes throughout her lifetime. In the 1970’s she and her husband purchased The Wagon Wheel Lodge in the majestic mountains of Estes Park, CO. It was during this time that they found a deep interest and connection to Native American culture, history, art, and most importantly people. Later in the 1980’s they moved their summertime escape to a cabin in Forest Lakes on the Mogollon Rim of AZ. After Jane’s retirement from teaching they became full summer/winter residents splitting time between a home at the foot of the Superstition Mountains in Gold Canyon, AZ and on a large farm in Curryville, MO not far from the Mississippi River.
Ella Jane was a generous supporter of many organizations dedicated to spreading knowledge, the word of God, and improving the world for all people. In the most recent years of her life she made regular contributions to: World Vision International, Family Life Radio, In Touch Ministries, Desert Botanical Gardens, Friends of Channel 8, Mesa Arts Center and the Democratic Party. Donations to any of these organizations would be greatly appreciated in lieu of flowers.
Thank you for the moments you shared with her and the love you showed her. Her life was truly blessed with wonderful family and friends.
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.