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Ellen (Kiefer) Willis

February 21, 1941 - April 9, 2020

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Ellen Kiefer Willis, 79,of Whites Crossing, Carbondale Township, passed away peacefully on  Thursday after a courageous battle with a brief illness. Her beloved husband, Dr. Bernard Willis, died in April 2008.

Born in Carbondale, she was the daughter of the late Niles and Ruth Kiefer. She graduated from St. Rose High School and went on to Kings County Nursing School in Brooklyn, NY at the young age of sixteen. She received a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s College and a master’s degree from The University of Scranton. She was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at The University of Scranton and Misericordia University. Ellen was the Director of Nursing Education and Staff Development at Farview State Hospital, as well as a psychiatric nurse for Tri-County and Northwestern Human Services and a nurse educator for Lilly USA LLC. She was the president and chief negotiator of The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association. Additionally, Ellen served on the Special Olympics golf tournament and black-tie dinner dance committees.

Ellen was a brilliant woman with a love for family, friends, nursing, and her three beloved cats. She and Bernard traveled the world together and were both pilots of their own Stenson Voyager. Whenever someone was in need, Ellen never hesitated to simply be there. Her generous heart and determined nature will be dearly missed by all of those who knew and loved her.

Ellen was a proud and dedicated mother and grandmother. She is survived by her son, EJ Enslin and his wife, Laura of Downey, California, along with five stepchildren: Margaret Tusko, Carolyn Zechman and husband Jack, Christopher Willis and wife Jennifer, Ellen Mote and husband John and former daughter-in-law Rose Striefsky and husband Michael. Ellen was the adoring grandmother to Sarah and Peter Seliga, Anessa Enslin, Ashley Enslin and fiancé Josh Hanein, Lauren Enslin and boyfriend Eduardo Aponte, Kiefer Enslin, Michael Striefsky and fiancé Breann Boyarsky, Mark Striefsky and fiancé Kiana Lavery, Christina and Keith Brown, Emily and Peter McCarthy, Aaron and David Tusko, Evan Mote, Katey and James Kiser, and Eric and Daniel Willis. Ellen was also given the greatest of joy by her six great-grandchildren: Liam, Savannah, Peyton, Lane, Kieran and Maeve. In addition, she is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Ellen is also preceded in death by a brother Jack Kiefer and wife Ethel, sister Elinor Berry and husband Raymond, stepdaughter Susan Willis, and brother-in-law Richard Willis and wife Dottie.

The family would like to thank Dr. Neil Davis and his staff along with all of the staff at Geisinger Medical Center and Hospice of the Sacred Heart in Dunmore for their compassionate care in a time when Ellen needed it most.

Memorial contributions in Ellen’s honor can be made to Autism Speaks.

A graveside service will be held at a future date. Arrangements by the Joseph W  Scotchlas Funeral Home, Inc., Simpson.  For condolences visit:

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