SKOWHEGAN -- Blanche Begin Ellis, who died on April 21, 2013, at Inland Hospital in Waterville, at the age of 102, believed in the value of hard work and plain speaking. Loved by her family and friends, she was a strong and influential presence in their lives. She will be dearly missed by her children and family.

She was born on July 23, 1910, in Winslow Saint J., Provence of Quebec, Canada. Blanche was one of 11 children and the oldest daughter of Philippe Begin and Fidelise Dulac Begin. Her parents moved their family to the United States when she was a young girl. She left school at an early age to help her parents support their large family.

She is predeceased by her husband Donald Edward Ellis, of Oakland, and daughter-in-law Diane Ellis, of Norridgewock.

Her greatest accomplishment was raising five wonderful children, originally living in Oakland, and eventually settling in Skowhegan. While she had various jobs throughout her life, she spent most of her working years as a dietary assistant at the Redington-Fairview hospital in Skowhegan.

She is survived by her loving children, Raymond Ellis, and wife Lynn, of Oakland, Claudette Lagasse and husband Donald, of Killingworth, Conn., Patricia Ellis and husband Robert Surdam Jr., of New York, N.Y., Robert Ellis and wife Marcia, of Chicago, Ill., and Larry Ellis, of Norridgewock; also her grandchildren, Duane Ellis, Gary Ellis, Libby Lowe, Daphne Lagasse, Mark Lagasse, Dorothy DeCaprio, Marie Lagasse, Arden Surdam, Corynn Ellis and Marissa Ellis; her great-grandchildren, Christopher Ellis, Ashley Ellis, Amanda Rancour, Jacob Ellis, Nicholas Ellis, Emma DeCaprio and Kaleigh DeCaprio; and her caring sister, Priscilla Hamlin. She will be remembered fondly by all her family and friends.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, at Notre Dame Church, 112 Silver St., in Waterville. There will be a reception following the service from noon to 2 p.m. in the church hall.

Published in Central Maine on Apr. 26, 2013