Ellen L. Proffitt, 44, of Jacksonville, N.C. passed away on May 5, 2021, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, after a long, courageous, and hard-fought battle with cancer.
Born November 3, 1976, in Virginia, Ellen grew up relishing the company of her close friends, a tight-knit group who found adventure and fun even in the simplest of activities. She adored and cherished her childhood friends.
Ellen developed a love of softball at an early age, playing for local youth teams. She continued playing the sport throughout her school years, where she dominated third base with a remarkable skill for fielding, and with an arm that delivered “rocket” throws to first base. As cleanup batter she was a homerun hitter who also led her championship high school team in homeruns and stolen bases. She was named MVP several times over the years.
After high school, Ellen served briefly in the U.S. Army. After her discharge she utilized her talents as an artist and florist to open a flower and gift shop. Eventually, she met and married her soulmate and the true love of her life, John Proffitt.
The shining light in the couple’s life is their son, Tyler, who became a champion wrestler at an early age. He’s also won gold medals and other top honors in jiu-jitsu, judo, MMA, and karate. Ellen and John devoted their lives to helping their son be the best he could possibly be in all his endeavors. Her wish was to see Tyler attend college, and she did. He enters his sophomore year in the fall of 2021.
Ellen had a unique sense of humor and never failed to light up every room she entered. Quick with her wit, even when she was ill, to be around her was a joy.
Together, Ellen and John created a unique line of farmhouse crafts and furniture, and people traveled from all over to purchase their distinctive and collectable items.
Ellen was a painter, quilter, wreath maker, gardener, crafter, and flower arranger with a style all her own. She loved nature and enjoyed feeding and watching the birds and squirrels who live in her yard.
She treasured spending time with her parents, sisters, and nieces and nephews. Her favorite places to visit were the mountains of North Carolina.
Ellen enjoyed reading a good mystery, especially those written by her friends, many of whom are top bestselling authors, and watching true crime television shows. From a young age she enjoyed listening to the music of The Oak Ridge Boys.
Despite her illness, she was always positive, and wanted to help others. She fed the hungry and gave to those in need, even when she sometimes had less than those she helped.
Ellen is survived by her husband John; her son Tyler, her parents, Lee and Denene Lofland, and Ron and Julie Coker; her grandmother, Dora Doyle; her siblings, Chris Fowler, Ron Coker, Jr., Aubrey Coker, Aprill Smith, Amanda Smith; brothers- and sisters-in-laws; aunts and uncles; and nieces and nephews.
Ellen’s stubborn, yet affectionate and compassionate personality will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
“There’s a brand new star
Up in heaven tonight
Shining down on us
Glorious and bright
I’m gonna miss you every day
But I know that you’re alright
There’s a brand new star
Up in heaven tonight” ~ The Oak Ridge Boys
Ellen requested cremation without a public service. Arrangements are in the care of Wilmington Funeral and Cremation.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ellen may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, N.C., 28401, or by visiting www.lifecare.org/donate.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.