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Ellen Kay Pugliese

02/14/1946
01/06/2023

Ellen Kay Pugliese (Cole) age 76 of Ada, Michigan passed away peacefully with family by her side on Friday, January 6, 2023. She bravely and gracefully battled breast cancer for 8 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Ruth Cole; and brother-in-law, James Swanlund. Ellen is survived by her husband of 52 years, Carmine Pugliese; children, Anne Pugliese, Joe (Jennifer) Pugliese; grandchildren, Caitlyn Pugliese, Cole Pugliese; sister, Suzanne Swanlund; brother-in-law, Thomas (Ginny) Pugliese; and several very special nieces and nephews. She graduated high school in 1964 from Grand Rapids Creston High School. Ellen worked as an administrative assistant and secretary for three different architect firms in Grand Rapids, including Steenwyck & Thrall, Cox Medendorp & Olson, as well as Tower Pinkster.  Ellen and Carmine started and ran a successful family business for 12 years. Ellen was always involved, and ready to take on new adventures. These included snow plowing, making and painting cement lawn ornaments, letterpress print shop, parttime USPS contractor, and raising Angus cattle. She was community focused and passionate about helping others. She volunteered for the Salvation Army, God’s Kitchen, and St. Robert’s of Newminster Mercy luncheons. Ellen enjoyed a rich life of family and her Catholic faith. Along with Carmine, they loved to explore the Upper Peninsula, Smokey Mountains, and the Grand Canyon.  You could find Ellen in her garden, working in the yard, mowing lawn, or doing house projects with Carmine. Special moments were often shared with her daughter Anne and son Joe, they were her pride and joy and greatest accomplishment. Many proud moments were shared with her grandchildren Caitlyn and Cole at dance recitals, band concerts, soccer games, sledding, and family dinners. Ellen offered a no-nonsense flair for life, quick wit, and keen sense of humor. During her 8 year cancer journey she also chose to participate in cancer research, and clinical trials that would help other women. In her younger years, she enjoyed an active lifestyle, including running several 5K events, and synchronized swimming in her youth. Ellen will be missed and remembered for her love and devotion to her family. A little woman with a big heart. Visitation will take place 5-8pm, Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 with rosary at 7:30pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2023, at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, 6477 Ada Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301 with visitation one-hour prior. Concelebrants, Rev. Logan Weber and Rev. Leonard Sudlik. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Salvation Army, 1215 E. Fulton St.  Grand Rapids, MI  49503.

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6 Responses

  1. Annie,
    I’m so sorry. I have such fond memories of this precious lady and her quick wit
    Her smile was infectious.
    It was such a joy and a privilege to have known her
    Barb Boughner

  2. I can only imagine the reunion Ellen had being welcomed home by her Mom and Dad and her brother-in-law Jim Swanlund (whom she had known since she was about nine years old). She had a deep faith.
    She also had a passion for her family.
    Carmine, Anne, Joe, Caitlyn and Cole were everything to her! She was a good example of family devotion ❤️
    I will miss getting a birthday card scattered randomly throughout the year because she was always afraid she would forget and she didn’t want that to happen!
    A piece of my childhood is gone and I will miss you Aunt Ellen!
    Please tell grandma and grandpa and dad that we miss them too ????

  3. Joe and Carmine,
    I am deeply saddened for your loss. I pray our Heavenly Father will comfort you and give you Peace.

  4. Carmine, Annie, Joe and family, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. What a sweet soul you were blessed with in your lives. May the peace of Heaven soothe your hearts at this time. Jamie and Susan Foote

  5. Dearest Family,
    So sorry to hear the news you will all be in our thoughts and prayers.
    May God show his tender love at this time.
    Jon and Karen Greiner

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Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Salvation Army

1215 E. Fulton St. 

Grand Rapids, MI  49503