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Ellen Marie Schlesinger

February 6, 1945 August 9, 2023
Ellen Marie Schlesinger
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Obituary for Ellen Marie Schlesinger

In memory of Ellen Marie Schlesinger

Passed August 9, 2023

Born February 6, 1945

Resided Wakefield, Rhode Island

Ellen Schlesinger, 78, of Wakefield, RI passed away on August 9, 2023 after a long battle with myelodysplastic syndromes cancer.

Ellen was born to Dick and Ester Mueller in 1945 and raised in Champaign, Illinois. She attended Edison Junior High and Champaign Senior High School, graduating with the class of 1963. That same year, she married Asbury “Barry” Moore and had her first child, Butch. In 1966, she moved to Chicago with her second husband Paul, where she worked at Interlake Steel Corporation as an executive secretary, and, later, at the University of Chicago. In 1973, she and Paul moved to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania where she participated in multiple community support organizations and served as chairwoman of the Swarthmore Women's Club. In 1975, the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where she and Paul eventually welcomed two daughters, Samantha and Emma. Ellen resided in St. Louis until 2022 when she moved to Rhode Island to be closer to her youngest daughter, Emma, who helped care for her during her last year of life.

Ellen leaves behind a legacy of love, advocacy, and creativity, qualities that she expressed both as a mother and through her activities as a part of the wider community. Throughout her life, Ellen was a fiercely dedicated mother to all three of her children, whose success she often referred to as her most important accomplishment in life. When her children were young, she served as Den Mother for Cub Scouts and Troop Leader for Pixies and Brownies. In St. Louis, she was active in functions at Flynn Park Elementary School, which included a beloved role as the notorious pirate “Annie Bonny” who joined the morning announcements to encourage student fundraising and participation in the annual school picnic. She was always there to cheer her kids on in sports, plays, and other extracurricular activities. Throughout their lives, she has always been their biggest fan.

Ellen was also an advocate and friend to many other children. Later in life, she worked with numerous community organizations, engaging in fundraising and collecting donations for underprivileged kids. She also served as an intergenerational tutor, mentor, and friend to grade school students through the St. Louis Oasis program ( and was a supportive figure for numerous neighborhood and community children. Ellen’s strong desire to make the world a better and safer place for children emerged from her own lifelong battle with mental illness. While she was often reluctant to share these struggles due to the stigma and discrediting effect it had, she was never short on ideas for improvement. Despite the obstacles she faced, she always strove to be her best self through participation in organizations like Walter’s Walk ( She also served on an advisory council for BJC Behavioral Health to help improve access to mental health resources in St. Louis. After relocating to Rhode Island, she was active in the Resident Leadership Committee in her Brookdale community and was finally able to become the in-person advocate and recruiter that she always was in spirit for her daughter's organization and life's passion, Save One Soul Animal Rescue League (

In addition to her community service, Ellen was also passionate about her personal creative projects. She loved to try new things, always stretching her resources and creativity to the limits. Ellen expressed herself through music, both as a piano player and a singer who performed nationally with Sweet Adelines International for a number of years. She was also an avid gardener, quilter, crafter, and DIYer with an eye for style, who designed charming home interiors and planned wonderful parties. Often, she utilized her creative talents as an expression of love by planning experiences for others that would make them feel special. In her acts of kindness and service, she was persistent, resourceful, and generous, sometimes to a fault. Her spirit will continue to live through the lives and deeds of those who benefitted from her attention and care. For Ellen's family, however, her absence leaves a hole that is impossible to fill. She will truly be missed.

Ellen is predeceased by her parents, Dick and Ester Mueller, and her granddaughter Breanna “Bree” Moore. She is survived by her children (their spouses) Butch (Cindy) Moore, Samantha (Justin) King, and Emma (Jason) Dawley, her grandchildren Brandi, Brooke, and Emily, her great-grandchildren Hazel, Lila and River, and her siblings Carl (Marsha) Mueller and Paula (Chris) Ohlund.

In accordance with her wishes, there will be no public funeral service. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in honor of Ellen to Walter’s Walk ( or the St. Louis Oasis program ( Ellen would want her memory to live on in the important work of these organizations, which help people live their best lives.

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