June 2, 1936 - January 18, 2014

Burial Date


WEBSTER, ELEANOR “ELLIE,” of Montpelier, died at home January 18, of heart failure. She was born June 2, 1936, in Syracuse, N.Y., to Marion and George Cressey. She graduated from Syracuse University, with a degree in child development. She taught in a variety of preschool settings including: The Laboratory Nursery School at Syracuse University, The Ann L. Page Demonstration School at Wellesley College, but most of her teaching was at Edgewood Co-op Nursery School in E. Lansing, Mich., (where she lived for more than 30 years.) As a professional, she believed in the importance of play for children, universal in all cultures and essential to development. She enjoyed travel, especially viewing the topography of many countries in the world. She met her husband of 53 years in Norway, and they lived for a time in England, Hawaii, and for 3½ years in Japan, where she again taught Japanese children in public preschools. (Although she did not know Japanese, she believed play does not need spoken language.) Most of all, she found pleasure in traveling, often on tenting trips to her children and grandchildren, wherever they were living. She and her husband had just returned from Hawaii, and visits with family, prior to entering hospice Nov. 6, 2013. Ellie liked mountains, snow, sun, and the water. Thus, she was especially pleased to retire in Vermont, where they had spent many vacations, visiting family and camping on their land in Marshfield. Canoeing and tending her flower garden were also favorite activities. She also loved the community of Montpelier. She did volunteer work for many years at the Family Center and at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier. She was a strong advocate for “green” issues, and urged all people to fully insulate their homes. Ellie is survived by her husband, Harris; her daughter, Debbie McMaster and husband Charley of Pepperell, Mass.; son, Jim Webster and wife Therese Glowacki of Niwot, Colo.; son, Tom Webster and wife, Laurel of University Place, Wash.; and her daughter, Cyndi Webster of East Lansing, Mich.; six grandchildren; as well as her sister, Marjorie Bowler of Newtown Square, Pa. Her brother, Dick Cressey and her sister, Fran Seasholes had died previously.

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