Ella Mae was born November 28, 1932, to Lee Samuel and Jewrel Harrold Ross in Kansas City, Kansas. She was the third of three children. Her parents, sister Versa Ola Edwards and Brother Dr. Charles Richard Ross preceded her in death.
Ella Mae attended schools in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated in 1950 from Sumner High School. She was baptized by Rev. I. H. Henderson, Sr. pastor of Eighth Street Baptist Church. Growing up in the church she was active in Sunday school, various area of the Mission for children and youth.
She left Kansas City in 1950 to attend Pittsburg State Teachers College and remained there until her graduation in 1954. She received a BA Degree in Elementary Education and Library Science. Later she received her graduate degree from Central Missouri State University, August 13, 1976, in Instructional Media Technology. While at Pittsburg Ella Mae was initiated in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority November 23, 1952.
In 1954 Ella Mae married Robert L. Rowan and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Three children were born to this union, Robert Keith, Regina Mae, and Cedric Lee.
After moving to Kansas City, MO Ella Mae and Robert united with Friendship Baptist Church August 9, 1956. Rev I.H. Henderson, Jr. was Pastor. She was active in Sunday School, Hannah Mission Circle, Historical Ministry, Book Club, Deaconess Ministry and Girl Scout Leader.
Ella Mae began her career as Assistant Branch Librarian for Kansas City, Missouri Public Library then at Lincoln High School. Her teaching career began at Ladd Elementary School September1959 as first grade teacher. She remained there for nine years.
A new school was being built in Kansas City MO with a library.
Learning this Ella Mae applied for the librarian position. She received the assignment and began the summer before opening date of school cataloging books. With a summer staff they worked to organize the library at Mary Harmon Weeks School.
After nine years at Weeks Ella Mae was librarian at King Jr., and Lincoln Academy North and South. Later she became Library Coordinator for the Kansas City MO School District. She retired from the District July 1, 1990.
Through the years Ella Mae, Robert and children took many family trips. After retirement and children finishing college, they began traveling abroad and taking cruises. In 2007 Ella Mae took her granddaughter Rachel to London, England, and Paris France.
After serving 55 years as a member of Friendship Baptist Church Ella Mae transferred her membership by letter to First Baptist Church, 5th Nebraska Kansas City, Kansas. Her youngest son Cedric was called to Pastor this church in 2009.
Through the years Ella Mae worked in her community participated in serving seniors and children. With a love of books, she read stories to children; listen to them read and encouraged parents to do the same.
As a charter member of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Drifters, Inc. Ella Mae participated in numerous service projects. This national organization was organized to: Strengthen Our Family To Build Better Communities and Save Our Children-Assist Our Seniors.
Ella Mae enjoyed family times together and visiting with friends. She leaves to cherish her memory Robert Keith, Oakland, CA; Regina Mae (Ronald, Jr.); Cedric Lee (Dorri) both of Kansas City; four grandchildren Roland Craddolph Kansas City, Rachel Renee Washington D.C, Ryan Cedric Rowan (Katie) Crown Point, IN, Austin Lloyd Rowan Dallas, TX, and one great grandson Aidan James Rowan, Crown Point, IN and host of nieces, nephews, other Relatives and Friends.
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