Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, December 28, 2006, at Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Marshall. Rev. Randy Shannon and Rev. Norma Marchand will officiate. Visitation will be held from 1 to 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Old Lamine Cemetery in Cooper County, MO. Memorials may be made to Howard County Hospice.
She was born on June 7, 1910, in Saline County near Ridge Prairie, the daughter of Isaac "Bud" and Allie Gash Griffith. On November 26, 1936, she married Albert Widel and they made their home in Blackwater, MO.
She lived a long and rewarding life, through decades of change, always following her philosophy that "hard work never killed anybody." She worked for the Blackwater/Arrow Rock Telephone Company for five years and managed it for ten years. Following, she worked several years at the Farmers Stock Bank where she was teller and loan officer. Never idle, she often gardened during her lunch break and also became an insurance agent for MFA Insurance in Columbia, now Shelter Insurance.
Family was of central focus to her and her twin daughters, sisters, brother and grandchildren all enjoyed the benefits of her devotion. Ella believed in the redemption of Jesus Christ and was a life long member of the Methodist Church.
Among her great avocations were gardening and cooking. She prided herself on growing her own ingredients and doing it all from scratch. She was a fixture of the Blackwater community, often giving interviews on local happenings and the people involved to historians and friends.
She is survived by two sisters, Earlene Davis of Blackwater and Sue Rinne of Arrow Rock; two daughters, Kay Rock of Madison, WI and Fay Smith Vessell and husband, Randy, of Blackwater; six grandchildren, Courtney Smith Tsao of Kansas City, Aaron Widel Smith of Joplin, Allison Kay Smith of Kansas City, Loretta Florence Rock of Brooklyn, NY, Anthony John Rock of Santa Barbara, CA and Bennett Isaac Rock of Madison, WI.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Albert Joseph Widel; three sisters, Verna Cunningham, Ruby Lee Kammeyer and Peachie Irene Bagby; and two brothers, Earl "Little Isaac" Griffith and "Bud" Junior Griffith.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mourful marbles play.
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!
-- From "Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyll" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Additional information provided per family recompense.