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Sarajean “Sally” Ewell, 86, Wellsville

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Wellsville, NY — Sarajean “Sally” Ewell, 86, of Wellsville passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, May 20, 2024, at the Highland Park Rehabilitation and Care Center.

Sally was born July 31, 1937, in Hornell, NY, the daughter of the late William L. and Irene (Brokaw) Lippert. On September 13, 1957, in Greenwood she married Richard H. Ewell, who survives.

Sally’s greatest joy in life was her family – she will be greatly missed by all those who loved her. She made sure her family knew how proud she was of them. Sally was the life of the party, making sure those around her were always having fun and feeling loved. She even enjoyed being picked on by her grandchildren because as she would say, “Teasing is a sign of affection.” Sally’s Christian faith was important to her throughout her life. She was very proud to convert to Catholicism under Monsignor Vincent “Father Vince” Becker at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. 

Sally’s childhood years in Greenwood were very special and formative. Her family loved hearing stories about her parents’ grocery store. At Lippert’s Store she worked alongside her mom and dad as a child running the cash register, learning to make change, eating copious amounts of ice cream (which she continued virtually every night for the rest of her life), and getting to know everyone in town. She loved Greenwood and its people, visiting them frequently throughout her lifetime.

She was a graduate of Greenwood High School, where she proudly earned the rank of valedictorian of her senior class. At age 16, Sally attended Geneseo State Teachers College and later taught in Arkport, Canisteo, Town of Tonawanda, Owego, Wellsville, and finally during her retirement years at Cracker Trail Elementary School in Florida. 

Sally had a passion for positively impacting the lives of those she encountered, including her family, friends, students, and anyone needing a helping hand. To this day, former students will stop Sally’s family and tell them, “Mrs. Ewell was my favorite teacher,” and give an example of how she made a difference in their life. This always made Sally feel so proud; she truly loved all her students. She was also (according to her) the undefeated arm-wrestling champ against the 5th grade boys that she taught.

Sally and her sister Suzanne lost their parents at a young age and were “adopted” into the Chaffee family of Greenwood. Irene and Lloyd Chaffee embraced them as daughters, while also filling the grandparent role for Sally and Sue’s children.

Sally is survived in addition to her husband by a son, Rich (Gabrielle Hart) Ewell of Wellsville, a daughter, Cynthia (Thomas) Hart of Pittsburgh, PA, grandchildren Emily (Landon) Shupe of Lake Wylie, SC, Rich (Lydia Gosson) Ewell of Webster, NY, Brady (Amy) Hart of Knoxville, TN, Brook (Caitlin) Hart of Philadelphia, PA and Meghan Hart of Pittsburgh, PA.  Great grandchildren Thomas “TJ” Hart, Riley Mae Hart and baby boy Shupe on the way, her sister Suzanne Palmer of Sebring, Florida (Sally’s little sister and best friend), Suzanne’s sons Todd (Michelle) Palmer of Murfreesboro TN and their daughters Natalie and Isabel, Michael (Scott Dolny) of Boston MA, beloved sister-in-law Barbara Ewell of Vermont, and her children Karen and Bob Jr. In addition to her parents, Sally was predeceased by her brothers-in-law Ed Palmer and Bob Ewell.

Sally spent the last few years of her life residing at Highland Park in Wellsville where she received unbelievably wonderful care and love from so many residents and caregivers. For this, the family is eternally grateful. She always looked beautiful when anyone stopped in for a visit because of the stellar care by the Highland staff. We know that Sally appreciated this very much.

A celebration of life is being planned for a later date. The burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Hart Comfort House.

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