Ellen S. Kloke

Ellen S. Kloke

NORTH CANAAN — Ellen entered the world on Jan 23, 1959, at Sharon Hospital, born to George and Sue Schaefer of the village of Canaan. She exited in her TARDIS during the early-morning hours of Jan. 26, 2023, three days after her 64 th birthday, at home with her husband and sister at her side.

Ellen was a life-long resident of Canaan, growing up on West Main Street during a time when it was safe for kids to make their own entertainment, staying outside for hours no matter the season to play and explore with her brothers and sisters and all the other neighborhood children. She graduated from North Canaan Elementary School and Housatonic Valley Regional High School, enjoying many of the schools’ activities.

She took a brief hiatus to achieve a degree in Accounting from Central Connecticut State University.

After passing the state test to be licensed as a Certified Public Account she remained living in the Hartford area to work with public accounting firms. Despite having an out-of-town mailing address, she was home frequently enough for family events and visits to be considered as never-having-left.

Ellen returned to Canaan in 1986 to work locally and to be closer to family. A short time later she met Lyle Kloke who had recently moved to Canaan. They married on May 27, 1989. They bought and moved into a small house on Barlow Street in May 1990, where they have lived since.

Ellen was a master in her trade, meticulous in her accuracy and attention to detail. Because of her profession her computer literacy began early when “laptops” were the size of suitcases that used two floppy disks because hard-drives weren’t yet available. She was adept in numerous software packages leading to responsibility for implementation of many accounting and point-of-sale systems for several small businesses in addition to performing her standard tasks.

Ellen liked to garden and spent years nurturing her perennial beds to create a bee, bird and butterfly-friendly environment with the assistance and guidance of her friend, Scott. She enjoyed taking her daily walks around to observe how things changed through the seasons. She never failed to stop to smell the roses, the lilacs, the clethra, and her plumerias. Or, just wonder about such delicate beauty.

Ellen enjoyed nature in general but especially during her walks with her sisters in the woods, or along the river, or just along roads in the area. Enjoying each other’s company with conversation and laughter.

Stopping from time-to-time to focus on a particular plant or view along the way. She enjoyed camping, hiking and anything involving water — going to the beach, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and simply floating. She relished the hours spent just relaxing on the screen porch, reading, looking over her gardens, watching the butterflies flutter by, listening to and watching the splashing of the birds in their bath, never ceasing to be amazed and amused by the acrobatics and antics of the feisty hummingbirds.

Ellen enjoyed cooking and could always be counted on to bring a dish or dessert to any gathering. Her herbed rice was most frequently requested. She was a long-time supporter of and contributor to community-sponsored agriculture and the preservation of Connecticut farmland.

She enjoyed arts and crafts of all different kinds. She liked embroidery, faux finishes, sketching, and Zentangle. She liked to make candles in a variety of sizes, experimenting with various blends of colors and scents to develop ones that she favored.

She especially liked digital photography. She got her first camera, when they first became available, using the proceeds from a winning Superbowl pool. She had a lot of fun with it, and the ones that followed as image quality improved. She’d chase butterflies from flower-to-flower until she got a good shot. Tried to sneak up on birds for a close-up. Zoomed-in on particular flowers that caught her eye.

Acted as Event Recorder, curating cameos of family and friends at all the planned and ad hoc gatherings and parties. The photos were her raw material to produce greeting cards, invitations and other items.

Her favorite for several years running was the preparation, from scratch, of annual limited-edition calendars for her Portly buddies.

Ellen also enjoyed puzzle-solving of all types. She relished several-thousand-piece jigsaws, using her method of sorting pieces by color, pattern and form, creating stacks of trays to peruse for that one particular piece she needed. The Sunday NY Times satisfied her weekly diet of word and number games.

Googling obscure clues was educational, not cheating.

Ellen’s most prized possession was her family, second were her friends. She never failed to make herself available at any time to help them in any way they needed. She gave them a sharp wit, good humor, a bright smile, and an infectious laugh. They gave her boundless love providing countless memories of all their antics for the stories that she liked to share.

Ellen was predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her sisters and brothers and their partners — Mary Ann and Jeff, Joe and Lisa, Tom and Sherry, Dolores and Francis, Jean and Pete, Christine. Nieces and nephews and their partners — Laura and Pete, Charlie and Katie, Ollie, Joey and Becky, Meghan and BJ, Marcus and Maryellen, Clara, Mary and Evan, Will and Sam, Ted, Elizabeth and Gabe. And, grandnephews— Emmett, Owen, and Clay. Uncle Joe and cousins. Not to mention her many friends.

Ellen will be missed.

A private Celebration of Life for Ellen was held in February. Ellen requested that any donations in her honor be made to the North Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corp. and/or the North Canaan Fire Company.

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