Ellen Marie Brinda of Lander, Wyoming passed away on December 7th, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 47 years old. Her generous, compassionate presence and friendly smile will be sorely missed by her friends and family.
Ellen was born on April 28th, 1973 in St. Joseph, Missouri to David and Deborah (Gentzler) Grace. Ellen and her family moved frequently in Ellen’s youth, but they were able to make a home wherever they were. Ellen accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She graduated from Laramie High School in 1991, where she swam on the varsity swim team. After high school, she attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama for a year before returning to the blustery plains of Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming. Ellen graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1996 with a BS in Accounting, and remained an avid Cowboys fan, attending many athletic events with her family later in life.
Ellen and Dave met while they were students at the University of Wyoming, and were married on August 8, 1998 in Lander, Wyoming. In 1997, she moved to Lander and worked in the local banking industry until 2009, when she decided to focus her undivided attention on her family. Ellen loved many things, but she loved her family more than anything else. Ellen and Dave formed a perfect team, and they worked hard to cultivate a loving, supportive home environment for her proudest accomplishments: their children, Ryan and Katelyn.
Ellen’s greatest joys in life came while spending time with her family. She could frequently be seen supporting Ryan and Katelyn at cross country meets, dance competitions, and swim meets. When not attending her kids’ activities, Ellen could often be found on a warm beach or eating a picnic lunch in the mountains with her family. Ellen and Dave worked hard to provide meaningful experiences for their children whenever possible, and instilled an expectation of hard work and dedication with her motto: “Always do your best.” She was incredibly proud of the things that Ryan and Katelyn have accomplished, but she was proudest of the people they are. Ellen served as a role model, not only for her family, but for everyone she interacted with. There aren’t words that can fully capture the beauty of Ellen’s character. Selfless to a fault, genuine, compassionate, generous, intelligent, caring, and fiercely loyal, being in Ellen’s company was something to be cherished. Her friends and family will dearly miss her sharp wit, soft smile, and tight, loving hugs.
Ellen is preceded in death by her grandparents Ben and Irene (Newby) Gentzler, and Max and Lela (Christian) Grace. She is survived by her husband of 22 years, Dave and her beloved children, Ryan and Katelyn of Lander; her parents, David and Deborah (Gentzler) Grace of Laramie, Wyoming; her sister, Sarah (Jeremy) Adams, and niece, Klaire, of Badger, Iowa; parents-in-law, Rodney and Sharon Brinda of Lander; and an uncle and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ellen’s memory to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. By mail: Huntsman Cancer Foundation, 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108; phone: 801-584-5800; or online: HuntsmanCancer.org/giving.
Private family services were already held.