Eleanor Katherine (McGowan) Simcoe, wife of Robert J. Simcoe, passed away peacefully Thursday February 24, 2022 after a long struggle with dementia. Ellie was born in Appleton, Minnesota to the late Martin and Elizabeth (Kelly) McGowan, Sr. She graduated from Stephens College in Missouri and St. Catherine College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After college, Ellie worked as a reporter for the St. Cloud Times, honing skills first learned at the Appleton Press — a newspaper owned and published by the McGowan family. Ellie was a certified elementary school teacher and taught third grade students before moving into a ten-year residence at the Minneapolis Catholic Youth Center. There she published the CYC newsletter and facilitated Pre-Cana courses for couples contemplating marriage.
Ellie met her husband Bob in 1970 at her nephew's wedding, and they were married on March 13, 1971 in Minneapolis. They lived in Crofton, Maryland and Liverpool, New York before settling in Westborough, Massachusetts, where they stayed for 35 years.
Ellie worked in the Westborough school system as a librarian and reading aide, as well as serving on the Little League Board. An accomplished pianist like her mother, Ellie was an active supporter of the Westborough Music Parents Association. She also was co-creator of Project Graduation, a safe and inclusive graduation night celebration for Seniors at Westborough High School that continues today. Ellie was beloved for her kindness and for being a wise, empathetic listener who could help troubleshoot life issues with her keen insights and offer observations and opinions without judgment.
In 2016, Ellie moved to the Memory Care unit at New Horizons community in Marlborough, MA. Her husband Bob moved into adjacent independent living apartments to be close to her. In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, Timothy S. Simcoe and his wife Stephanie T. Gates of Marblehead, MA, and Robert A. Simcoe and his wife Patricia S. Udomprasert of Arlington, MA, and grandchildren Katherine, Anne, Theodore, Andrew, and Lillian.
Ellie’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on April 2, at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 70 West Main St. in Westborough. Burial will follow at St. Luke’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Westborough Fine Arts Education Association at www.wfaea.org