Nov. 30, 1935 ~ Aug. 9, 2022

Ellen Lightsey died on Aug. 9 from Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure and bladder cancer in Chapel Hill. She was 86.

Ellen was born in Sandersville, Mississippi to parents, William Theodore Lightsey, Sr. and Sarah Lewis Lightsey. Her siblings are Joan Brumfied, Charlie Lightsey (deceased), William Theodore Jr. (Ted) Lightsey, Judyth Parish, and James Arthur Lightsey (deceased).

She graduated from Sandersville High School as Valedictorian. She worked at Masonite in the front office. Later, she became a mother of two to Thomas Vance Knight and Kelley Lynn Knight. In Greensboro and Raleigh, she volunteered at the school’s offices in her spare time. Ellen was a talented seamstress, making most of Kelley’s childhood school dresses. She painted with acrylics, and enjoyed collecting pottery, and had pieces from the famous N.C. potter Ben Owen. Ellen loved animals, and lost animals were attracted to her She hand-raised a baby Robin teaching it to scratch for worms. The bird would land on her head, and returned to our yard for years. After her son Vance graduated Dental School, she began working in his office as a receptionist, and worked there for 15 years. After retirement, she enjoyed meeting with her church group at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church. She then moved to Chapel Hill to be closer to her daughter Kelley, and lived at Chatham Ridge Assisted Living until her death.

Instead of flowers, donations can be sent to CLAWS, Inc., wild animal rescue and rehabilitation: NC-CLAWS.ORG.