CHESTERTOWN — Ellen Thomas Gale of Chestertown passed away on Thursday, April 11, 2019. She was 85.
Ellen was the daughter of the late Merritt-Page Beck Foster of Chestertown and the late Mr. Robert Wright Thomas Jr. of Centreville. She was a descendant of many of the earliest settlers of Kent County. She was born in Hartford, Conn. on Jan. 4, 1934, where she lived until 1948, when, following the death of her father in 1938, her mother remarried to Mr. Charles F. Foster and moved to Sarasota, Fla. Following the death of her stepfather a year later, the family moved to Chestertown to reside with Mrs. Foster’s mother.
Mrs. Gale was a member of St. Mark’s Church in Venice, Fla. and St. Paul’s, Kent County.
She was preceded in death by her beloved second husband Ben P. Gale; her beloved stepdaughter Mary, known to all as Meg; and her brother Robert W. Thomas III of Sarasota. Mr. Gale was Commissioner of Natural Resources under former Gov. Spiro T. Agnew and one-time chairman of the board of Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital, as well as chairman of the Kent County United Fund.
She is survived by two stepsons, Benjamin Gale of Upperville, Va. and Thomas Hoyt Gale of Centreville; her eldest son Christopher Thomas Gale of Fallston, the son of her beloved first husband Robert T. Pickett Jr. of Washington, D.C.; and her two younger children by her second husband, William Page Gale and Ellen Louise Gale, both of Chestertown. In addition, she has 13 grandchildren, two of whom preceded her in death, eight great-grandchildren and at least two great-great grandchildren. She also is survived by her sister-in-law Patricia Thomas of Sarasota, her two children and their children and grandchildren.
Ellen graduated from Oldfields School, Sparks, in 1952 and from Washington College in 1956.
Ellen was an avid golfer and played at Chester River Yacht and Country Club, where she was a longtime member of the nine-hole circuit. She also played frequently at Mission Valley Golf and Country Club in Nokomis, Fla, where she and her second husband were among the founding members. She was for many years a member of the Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital Ladies’ Auxiliary, where she was instrumental in organizing and operating the annual Christmas Shop. She also was proud of her volunteer work at St. Paul’s.
She will be best remembered by all who knew her for her infectious laugh, her sense of dry humor, her unfailing generosity and hospitality to all who spent a night under her roof.
A service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7579 Sandy Bottom Road, Chestertown. Interment will be in St. Paul’s Cemetery, following the service. It was her wish that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ben P. Gale Founders Fund at Kent School.
Arrangements by Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home, Chestertown.