Mary Ellen Griffin Dee, 77, of Woodstock Valley, CT, passed peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, July 7, 2017 at UMASS Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA.
Born in 1939, she was the daughter of the late Alice Swanson Griffin and Forrest L. Griffin of Lansing, MI. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Interior Design. Mary Ellen raised her children in Canton and Simsbury. She was passionate and active with her children’s Scouts and sports activities. She later worked at Cigna in Bloomfield for 15 years as a Computer Programmer.
Mary Ellen and her partner of 30 years, Beverly Boales Hiatt, moved to a lakefront log home that they designed together in Woodstock Valley. There, they launched Hummingbird Handicrafts, a custom embroidery business. At the lake, Mary Ellen loved gardening, boating, playing games, and spending time with family, friends and the Tuesday breakfast club.
Mary Ellen blessed all those around her with her exceptional creativity including, weaving pine needle baskets, crafting gifts from items found in nature, as well as sewing blankets and pillowcases with Beverly for hospitalized adults and children. She was a dedicated UCONN women’s basketball fan, enjoyed watching fireworks in Putnam, and checking off items on her “bucket list” like skydiving, riding a Harley, and traveling to Peru. She also loved supporting the activities and achievements of all her grandchildren, exploring nature, geocaching and spending time at the condo in St. Augustine, FL.
In addition to Beverly, Mary Ellen is survived by her children Linda Dee Spirko of Suffield and Rich Dee and his wife Chris of Charlotte, NC; her grandchildren, Jessica Spirko, Emma Spirko and Peyton Dee.
Through her commitment to family and her partnership with Beverly, she is survived by her brother Maxwell Boales (wife Barbara), sister Geraldine Boales Rairigh (husband Donald); her children Sheryl Hiatt Pitt, Jonathan Pitt, John Hiatt (wife Roberta), Laura McPherson (husband Scott), James Hiatt (wife Amie); her grandchildren J. Tyler Pitt (wife Emily), Michael Pitt (wife Heather), Sarah McPherson, William Fink, Samantha McPherson Coombs (husband Ethan), Madison Fink, Sophie Hiatt, Steven Hiatt, Jayne Hiatt, Maylee Hiatt, Max Hiatt, and three great grandchildren.
Selfless and dedicated to health and healing, Mary Ellen generously donated her body for medical research at the UMASS Medical School. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Mary Ellen can be made to The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org) and the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org).
Mary Ellen’s family would like to express their appreciation to the first responders at Bungay Fire Department as well as the ER and the 6th floor ICU staff at UMASS Memorial Medical Center for their outstanding care and compassion.
On Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 11:00 am, a gathering will be held to celebrate and honor the life of Mary Ellen Dee at The Barn at Allen Hill Farm located at 502 Allen Hill Road Brooklyn, CT 06234 (www.allenhillfarm.com). Alfred Roy & Sons Funeral Home, Worcester, MA is assisting the family with arrangements.