Welcome to Elegies of Joy. Welcome to the remembrance of New Hampshire’s own who were lost to coronavirus. While Jim Ellis didn’t die of COVID-19, his last few months were certainly impacted by the pandemic and his wife, Beverly, lovingly remembers him here.
By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER, Elegies of Joy
Beverly Ellis met her husband of 30 years at a club called Cardinal’s. Out with friends, Beverly spotted Jim and they danced and drank all night.
Beverly laughed while talking of the night, remembering the twists and turns on the dance floor, not knowing the twists and turns that life would throw.
Her husband, James “Jim” Ellis, passed away on June 13, 2020, at Riverside Rest Home in Dover. Beverly was not able to visit due to COVID-19 restrictions; the last time she saw him in person was Friday, 13 March. And while Jim did not pass from COVID-19, this Elegy of Joy celebrates a life impacted by this pandemic anyway.
Jim spent his final days at Riverside “loved by the women” and who garnered the title “King Valentine” on Valentine’s Day. And while Jim had been at Riverside for over eight months, he lived his life fully at the nursing home. He rebuilt clocks, he allowed the wonderful men and women of Riverside to take him under his wing.
Parkinsons and Louis Body dementia slowed Jim down, was the reason he went to Riverside in the first place. Beverly visited him regularly until, of course, it was much safer to “visit” via Zoom, via phone calls, via technology.
“Everybody knows Jim,” remarked Beverly. He grew up in Milton, one of five brothers and three sisters.
And Beverly laughed when she shared, “The love of his life was fishing – he loved fresh water as well as catching stripers in the salt water.”
“It was very hard not to see him,” admitted Beverly. “But the nurses assured me he was never alone. They were great.”
Jim passed while at Riverside, at 5:55 p.m., June 13, Saturday, the day after Beverly’s birthday. Hospice and Riverside made his passing comfortable and he was able to tell his family he loved them.
And in the end, that is what matters to Beverly. “He was a good man,” she reflected in her sorrow.
In the end, even a pandemic cannot stop love, cannot stop memories of dancing all night at Cardinal’s, cannot stop admitting that the love of your husband’s life was fishing, cannot stop knowing he was a “good man.”
Susan Dromey Heeter plans to tell the stories of all the people New Hampshire has lost to COVID-19. Please contact Susan via firstname.lastname@example.org to share the story of someone you loved and lost or like Jim, whose life was impacted by the pandemic.