Mrs. Jane Ellis Tracy
HARLEM, Ga. - Mrs. Jane Ellis Tracy, 95, entered into
eternity Sunday, January 03, 2010.
Funeral Services were conducted by Pastor Philip Vestal
at the Harlem Baptist Church, 2 p.m., Monday, January 4,
2010 with interment in the Harlem Memorial Cemetery
She is survived by her beloved and loving husband of
almost 69 years, Francis Williams Tracy; her son, Richard
Tracy of Atlanta; and her daughter, Fran Tracy-Walls and
her husband, Joseph Louis Walls, and granddaughters,
Katherine and Christine Walls, all of Raleigh, N.C.
Additionally, she is survived by granddaughter, Ruth Tracy
Blackburn, and her husband Jay Blackburn, and greatgrandson
son, Will Blackburn, of Harlem; granddaughter
Mary Tracy of Charlotte, N.C.; and granddaughter, Katrina
Langdon and her husband Michael Langdon, and greatgrandson,
Jack Langdon, of Glendale, Arizona; and a sisterin-
law, Louise Tracy of Thomson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother
Dr. Samuel Laird Ellis, her sisters, Elizabeth Cody Ellis
Bachman, Angela Ellis Smith, Francenia Ellis Herd; and
her son, Lee Lamkin Tracy.
Jane was born on May 12, 1914 at home in Knoxville,
Tennessee, the youngest of six children of Francenia Laird
and Joseph N. Ellis, M.D. Around the age of three, she
began playing her mother's piano and soon played by ear
all the hymns she had heard at the First Baptist Church.
In those early years, she began singing in the clear, lovely
soprano that she retained until her very last days. Receiving
her secondary school education at Knoxville High, Jane
went on to the University of Tennessee where she studied
history, German and French, and sang in the Glee Club.
Earning her bachelor's degree in 1937, Jane took with her
a life-long love of learning and an abiding loyalty to the
U.T. football team. Though Jane had prepared for teaching,
she yearned for another kind of adventure, and explored
her options while working at an insurance company. Her
sisters thought her too sophisticated for Knoxville, and
envisioned her as the family member most likely to launch
a career in a big city. Her dreams and the shape of her future
were altered forever on the night that Jane, acting out of
character, accepted a blind date with a young man from
a small Georgia town. Within two years Jane and Francis
Tracy were married on a lovely spring morning, March 22,
1941 at her church in Knoxville. Settling in Francis's home
town of Harlem, the newlyweds' life together was cut short
when he was called to active duty as a first lieutenant in
the United States Army. Three months before the birth of
their first child, he was assigned to duty in the South Pacific
where he spent over three years. Jane returned to her parents'
home where she gave birth and waited out the years fraught
with uncertainty. Near the close of World War II in 1945,
Francis was reassigned stateside and joyfully reunited with
his family. Back once again in Harlem, Jane embraced the
life of a small town, and two more children were born to the
union before the end of the 1940s. Characteristically, she
excelled as a homemaker and loving mother in its many and
varied facets. She also supported her husband and assisted
him in many ways as he worked in the family business,
Tracy Pecan Products, later the Tracy-Luckey Co., Inc.
Throughout her life, Jane lent her talents, her gracious,
warm manner, and sense of humor to numerous clubs and
organizations. These included the Girl Scouts; the Harlem
Woman's Club; the Young Mother's Bridge Club (that
evolved into The Bridge Club); the Harlem Woman's Club;
the Harlem Garden Club; the Parent Teachers Association;
the Daughters of the American Revolution, James Wilson
Chapter; and the Augusta Country Club and its women's
golf, bridge and duplicate bridge groups. A committed
Christian, Jane was devoted to the Harlem Baptist Church,
and its Sunday schools, including the Fidelis Class, and its
missions and other outreach programs. Jane was a strong
woman of faith, who gladly served her Lord and her church.
Always an avid reader, she read the Bible from cover to
cover several times over the course of her adulthood. At her
core, Jane was a beautiful Southern lady with a distinctive
radiance who loved unconditionally and gave and received
joy from her family and friends. She will be remembered for
her elegance and style; her keen powers of observation and
insight; her quickness to laugh; her kindness, compassion,
and generosity; her affection and love for the family pets;
her lyrical voice and graceful dance movements; and her
zest for travel. She will also be remembered for her spirit,
strength of will, and the grace and courage with which she
approached life's hardships, including her own declining
health. Even in her last years, she shared with family the
joy of music making - singing and harmonizing with
them - in church, in the car, in the kitchen - wherever and
whenever the spirit moved. Her love, her special radiance,
and indomitable spirit will remain with those who had the
opportunity to know and love her.
The family would like to thank a faithful caregiver of
several years, Claudie M. Benning If so desired, memorials
may be made to the Harlem Baptist Church, Generation
Fund, PO Box 790, Harlem, GA 30814.
Starling Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010