Ada Maud Ellison passed away suddenly on November 10, 2021, in her own home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, due to an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Ada was born on June 5, 1938, in Florence, South Carolina, to parents Harry Dowling and Lillian Inez Nichols, becoming the newest member of a large family of extended relatives. The Dowling side had an especially long legacy in the South, which started with a Protestant ancestor from Ireland who sailed to Virginia in 1643 in pursuit of religious freedom.
When Ada was only two, her older sister, Evangeline, succumbed to meningitis at age four; two years later, Ada’s father had to uproot the family to take a job in New Mexico. Soon after, her father’s employment led to another move to nearby El Paso, Texas, where Ada spent the rest of her childhood and attended Austin High School. After her father passed away unexpectedly from an aortic rupture, Ada married at 17 and lived in Arkansas, then Eureka, California, before divorcing her husband and returning to El Paso.
After Ada met Army soldier, James Hubert Ellison, they married in August 1959, and had three children, all born three years apart: David Eugene Ellison, Donna Joyce Ellison, and Erick Ray Ellison. In the late summer of 1967, a tragic accident took seven-year-old David from the family, which was followed only two weeks later by the death of Ada’s mother from heart failure during surgery.
Despite the painful losses that severely tested her faith, Ada devoted herself to raising her children and continued to share with them her bright mind and unique sense of humor, especially through her long-held interests in music, movies, writing, books, and spiritual development. Ada lived mainly in El Paso until she divorced in 1982, then she moved to the Los Angeles area in 1984 to further build on her creative endeavors, which already included an adventure novel, several scripts, and multiple poems, songs, and drawings, many of which were based on the original characters she created and performed while building up a vast library of ad lib audio recordings.
Ada’s artistic path led her to residing in many places across the country, including Seattle, Boston, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Panama City, Florida. In later years, she returned to Southern California to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. As part of her spiritual quest, she devoted herself to receiving the Holy Sacrament of Baptism at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Camarillo in April 2007.
In 2011, Ada moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to spend time with her son’s family and newest grandson. She fulfilled a long-held wish to purchase her own home again in 2016 and enjoyed many happy years there working on her spiritual research, writing, and transferring her artistic creations from over the past 40 years onto her YouTube channel and other social media platforms. Up until the very end, Ada remained undaunted by the constant change in technology, rising to the challenge in maintaining her internet savvy and online presence rather than shrink away.
Ada is survived by daughter, Donna (Arthur) Travis, son Erick (Kathleen) Ellison, and three grandchildren: Everett David Travis, Rigel Darren Travis, and Kevin James Ellison.
Her service is being held at 10:30 a.m. on March 31, 2022, at the Assumption Cemetery in Simi Valley. As Ada could not be buried at Fort Bliss, El Paso, near eldest son, David, his surviving siblings chose the date of his birth to lay their mother to rest so the two can share this special bond forever.
The way in which Ada would like to be remembered was found within her writings: “I would like it mentioned…that I was interested in my lifetime in contributing to justice for all human beings, regard to all animals, and constructive creativity for enlarging understanding, cheerfulness, and hope. As a believer in the promises and grace of Jesus Christ, I commit my spirit to Him for redemption in the Kingdom of Heaven."