Ellen Patricia (Grillo) Zosel peacefully passed away in the early morning of December 26, 2019 at her home on Lake Osoyoos where she’d lived since 1951. Ellen was born March 17, 1920 in Republic, Washington to pioneer homesteaders and Italian immigrants, Anthony and Stella Grillo.
She spent her first six years on the family’s Frosty Creek homestead in the Aeneas Valley. After the tragic 1926 death of her little sister, Grace, the family moved to Omak, Washington.
Ellen attended school and graduated from Omak High School in 1937 and she was the last living member of that class. She then attended Kinman Business College in Spokane before returning to work in the Okanogan County Extension office. After marrying Jim Zosel on September 5, 1942 in Reno, NV the Army couple lived in Marysville, California, Maycomb, Illinois and Bend, Oregon before Jim deployed overseas in 1944. Ellen moved back to stay with her parents in Tonasket, Washington until Jim’s return from World War II. Their son, Paul, was born in 1945 during Jim’s deployment, and their daughter, Janell, joined the family in 1947. Four years later, they built their dream home on the shores of Lake Osoyoos where Ellen enjoyed living until her passing.
Ellen’s joys in life centered around her family, friends, and faith. She made her choice to follow Jesus at Chelan Convention in 1929 and stood true to her choice throughout her days. Ellen knew how to cook the finest meals, and she could be counted on to produce cakes from scratch for every special occasion. A long history of meals around the Zosel dining room table include Thanksgiving festivities accompanied by personal menus produced by her typewriter. She enjoyed gathering family around her grand piano where her playing and beautiful soprano voice led Christmas singalongs up until recent years. Ellen’s sharp memory as a family historian who recalled details and events from long ago also made her difficult to bear in Trivial Pursuit. A genuine representative of The Greatest Generation; Ellen’s influence will carry on in the lives she touched.
Ellen was preceded in death by her husband of 76 years, Jim (2018); sister, Grace (1926); brother, Virgil Grillo (1975); father, Anthony Grillo (1956) and mother, Stella Grillo (1970). She is survived her son, Paul (Brit) Zosel of Bellingham, Washington; daughter, Janell (Scott) Davenport of Wenatchee, Washington; brother, Jerry (Dawn) of Waterville, Washington; granddaughters, Siri, Heidi (Travis), Lindi (Jason), Jamie Cannon (Kyle), and grandson, Jed (Meagan); great-granddaughters, Jorja and Isis and great-grandson, Jack.
Ellen’s warm smile and encouragement will be missed by those who loved her in so many ways. A special thanks to granddaughter, Siri, for staying with her grandma the final eight months, to Hospice for their support and many special friends who supported her to the end. All these efforts allowed Ellen to spend her last days in the home she loved before going on to her eternal reward.
A private funeral service will be held at Bergh’s Chapel in Oroville at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 4th, with Scott Price and Garth Cook officiating. There will be a viewing on Friday, January 3rd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Interment to be at Oroville Riverview Cemetery.
Bergh Funeral Service & Crematory is in care of arrangements.