Mother’s Day Tribute to Bobbie Ellis
Betse Ellis isn't just one of the performers here at Bishop Spencer Place, she's also resident, Bobbie Ellis' daughter. We were not disappointed to receive this beautiful, loving tribute to her sweet mom.
My Mom knew she wanted to live near the Plaza years before she moved here. In 2015, she came from Arkansas to live at Bishop Spencer Place. I know she’s had some of the best years of her life here!
When Mom moved here, she said she had cooked for 50 years and was done. Good thing there’s good food here! She used to cook us dinner every night and did lots and lots of baking. One Christmastime, Mom made a gingerbread house that was a model of our house (which she herself helped design, as she and my Dad had it built in 1971). She’s always been so very creative. She painted the little half bathroom in our house with a scene that was part underwater and transitioned to sky, complete with clouds, a rainbow, and sparkly “lightning”. She knitted beautiful afghans, did needlepoint and petit point… and she’s working on needlepoint again now, along with other projects, thanks to a creative and engaging Activities staff. Mom also hand-wrote my elementary school’s newsletter, with beautiful cursive and decorations - this was back in the day when things were mimeographed. (And of course, she wrote “Garden Notes” for the Ambassador for many years, continuing her writing talents.)
Mom taught herself to play piano when she was younger and she gave me and my brother the opportunity to learn music when we were small. We studied violin and piano, and I eventually transitioned from piano to harp, which I studied for five years. We had a rented full-size concert harp in our music room! Of course, all this led to me studying violin at UMKC’s Conservatory of Music, and eventually making a career with music. Mom loves music, especially Gershwin and Bach, but she also loves a good hoedown fiddle tune, and it’s so fun to perform in Madison Living Room and see her tapping her feet. I have my Mom to thank for helping me find my calling.
Recently, Mom celebrated her 90th birthday. We enjoyed a dinner in the Abbey with my husband Clarke, his folks, and Mom’s card-playing friends. Mom’s just as cute as ever, and I know she is very much loved in this place which is her home. Happy Mother’s Day to Bobbie Ellis and all the mothers at BSP!