Esther Ellen McVay

Esther Ellen McVay was born March 9, 1905, near Atlanta, Mo. She was the daughter of William Henry and Bertha Lenora (Belfield) McVay. She passed away Aug. 31, 2009, at Houston House, Houston, Mo., at the age of 104.

She first attended rural school and later graduated from LaPlata High School in 1923. Ellen began teaching at a country school in 1923 and graduated from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1930. She taught in numerous country schools in northeast Missouri and one country school in Texas County before joining the staff of Houston High School in 1945, teaching history, government and English for the next 25 years.

Ellen was active in many professional organizations including: Delta Kappa Gamma (honorary teachers society), National Education Association and Missouri Teachers Association. She was a sponsor at Houston High School for chess club, social studies club, future teachers club, junior and/or senior classes and many other school sponsored activities. Ellen served as tutor for disabled students in the homebound program.

Ellen had been very active in community projects such as Houston Public Library and Nurses Health Department. She was contacted by Gov. Hearns to help start the local Senior Citizens Center, where she worked as a volunteer for many year. She served 11 years on the board of Southwest Missouri Office on Aging, helped form Texas County Mental Health Agency where she served on the board for 12 years, Missouri State White House on Aging, Silver Haired Legislature and Governors Advocacy on Aging. Ellen earned a certificate of appreciation from four governors for her community improvement projects. She was a member of Chamber of Commerce for seven years, and she served on community betterment committees.

She was a member of AAUW, the DAR and has done extensive work in genealogy. Ellen since 1920 was a member of the Methodist Church, where she served in various capacities.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Walter, Forrest and Gale; and a sister, Madge Moncrief.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews and numerous friends.

Ellen had a long and meaningful life. She touched and influenced many people. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Memorials may be made to the Texas County Library. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Services are 11 a.m. Thursday Sept. 3, at Evans Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Tom Tomlinson officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. until service time. Burial will be in Pine Lawn Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.

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