Ellen Boutelle, 92

JULY 14, 1919-DEC. 2, 2011

December 05, 2011
  • Boutelle

Mrs. Ellen Burnette Bishop Boutelle, 92, affectionately known as "Big Mama," died peacefully Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, at her farm near Middletown, Md., surrounded by her family.

Born July 14, 1919, in Rocky Mount, N.C., she was the daughter of the late George Thomas and Blanche Lewis Burnette.

She moved to Hagerstown with her husband, Edward S. Bishop Sr., during World War II. She later married Richard S. Boutelle Sr., who was president of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp., during the late 1940s and 1950s. This was a great time for aviation in Hagerstown and gave her the opportunity to be with national figures from the military, industrial and governmental world. But as Kipling said, she "...walk[ed] with Kings — [but never lost] the common touch ..." She was always kind to people and never spoke ill of anyone. A wonderful mother, she was also a great outdoorswoman and could ride a horse and shoot a gun with the best of them.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Edward S. Bishop Sr. and Richard S. Boutelle Sr.; a son, William L. Bishop; and her longtime companion, Phil Pearce.

She is survived by her children, Edward S. Bishop and Wendy Bishop, Dickcy Boutelle Gibson and Roy Good, Marjorie Boutelle Blouin and Dan Gilman, Katherine Boutelle, Richard S. Boutelle Jr. and Bambi Boutelle, and John F. Boutelle; grandchildren, Lt. Col. Edward S. Bishop III and Edie Bishop, Dr. Alan S. Bishop and Georgi Bishop, Shawn Bishop Thompson and Ken Thompson, Chadrenne Boutelle Blouin, Drake Boutelle Gibson and Dylan Boutelle Gibson; and great-grandchildren, Jaeger Keeney, Kendall Bishop, Samuel Bishop and Porter Bishop.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Frederick County, P.O. Box 1799, Frederick, MD 21705-1799 or Hagerstown Aviation Museum, 14235 Oak Springs Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

Donald B. Thompson Funeral Home, Middletown, is in charge of arrangements.

Online guestbook is available at

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