Eleanor Bayne (Cleland) (86) passed away peacefully on May 27, 2020 at her residence in Chestertown, Maryland. Elly followed this solemn journey in the steps of her beloved husband of 63 years, William (Bill) N. who proceeded her by just 40 days.
Her daughters Susan and Cynthia, and son Bruce were with Elly in spirit as she left to reunite with Bill. The dedicated staff and compassionate caregivers at Heron Point provided skilled support but could not dissuade Elly from departing and she is now at peace. Elly was a dedicated, supportive, loving partner and wife during their long marriage and steadfastly watched over Bill in his later years. She was the consummate mother – high praise indeed.
Elly was sharp of mind and engaging up to the day of her passing. As a positive spirit in the Kent County community and friend to many, Elly will be sorely missed. Eldest daughter of the late Dr. J. Wallace and M. Gertrude (Berry) Cleland of Lansdowne, PA, Elly was sister to the late Ruth Ann Isbister of Brookfield, WI and late David B. Cleland of Fort Meyers, FL.
Raised in Lansdowne, PA, Elly followed the family tradition of obtaining higher education at Muskingum College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree (’55) in English. After completing her studies Elly returned to the Philadelphia area and shortly thereafter met her future husband, Bill, during a Presbyterian Church youth program. Their love shown bright and they were married in October 1956. Elly set aside career plans to focus on managing a household that eventually included three children, a multitude of pets, and lots of cheer. Elly returned to work in the mid-1970s serving as a recruiter and then in long-term sales with Finnaren & Haley Paints before retiring in 1994.
Elly was involved with community and charitable service throughout life. While managing the household and raising a family, she participated in the Newcomers Club, Questers 1944, PEO International, Women in Need Foundation, and various Bridge Clubs where she and Bill formed a competitive team.
Elly was particularly proud of projects she was involved in with the Chestertown, MD Questers, that restored and contributed to historic preservation of elements highlighting the region’s rich agriculture and waterman history. As a lifelong Presbyterian, Elly was deeply involved with the church community and served as Elder and Deacon in congregations. For nearly a decade Elly performed with the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown Bell Choir lifting spirits and inspiring faith.
Bill’s career led the family to adventures in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, but throughout those years the summers were primarily spent on the Maryland Eastern Shore and particularly in the Kentmore Park community on the lovely Sassafras River. Elly and Bill built a second home there in 1966 where they treated the family to the simple, easy-going joys of Eastern Shore life including fishing for rockfish and perch, crabbing off the pier, swimming and sailing, and gathering for community dinners and celebrations.
Several friends and colleagues that visited for weekend daytrips returned to build their own dreams in “the Park” and Elly and Bill had the good fortune to enjoy many years surrounded by wonderful friends. They retired there, where they savored the easy pace of Kent County, the buzz of summer weekends, the beauty of the river, the seasonal changes echoed with wildlife migrations, and the daily joy of watching sunsets from the pier. Elly and Bill are enjoying those gifts together again.
Grave-side service at Shrewsbury Parish Church in Kennedyville, MD will be limited to family due to coronavirus, but a celebration of Elly and Bill will be held when possible at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Elly’s honor would be welcomed to either of the following:
• Woman in Need, 106 Philosophers Terrace, Chestertown, MD 21620
• Presbyterian Church of Chestertown, 905 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD 21620
Arrangements by Fellow, Helfenbein and Newnam Funeral Home, P.A.