A photo of Ethel M. (Wells) (Michels) Cherrix

Ethel M. (Wells) (Michels) Cherrix

April 1, 1924 - December 13, 2019

Ethel M. (Wells) (Michels) Cherrix, age 95, of Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 13, 2019.

Born in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada on April 1, 1924, she was the youngest of six children of the late John and Matilda (Crane) Wells. Ethel raised a family of six children. She retired after 18 years from John G. Leach School. She loved spending time with her family, Ethel also enjoyed dancing and loved to travel to many different places.

In addition to her parents, Ethel was preceded in death by her first husband, Lawrence Michels of New Castle, and her second husband, Paige T. Cherrix of Wilmington; and children, Robert Michels, John Michels, and Donna Staker. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Mulrooney (Charlie); grandsons, Jeremy Mulrooney (Sarah) and Sean Mulrooney (Taylor); and great grandson, Wolfgang; daughters, Shirley Lawson and Barbara Weiant; and many nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 12:00 pm until 1:00 pm on Friday, December 20, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a funeral service will begin at 1:00 pm. Interment will follow at Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ethel’s memory to:

Brandywine Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

In care of Beth Escobar: 505 Greenbank Road Wilmington, DE 19808

A tribute to my Aunt Ethel – Ethel May Wells

by her name sake-

Ethel Lorraine Wells Mastropietro.

Ethel May Wells was born in a little community known as the Southside in the oldest city of North America, St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada.

She was the youngest of six children.  Her Dad adored her and called her his “baby”.  Ethel was a happy child and even into her teens was the life of her family.  As she grew, she did not lose her spark. Actually, Ethel’s childlike spark increased into her adulthood. Always ready for a laugh or a party, she was a delight to be around.  She loved to dance.  Ethel was at a dance when she met an American Soldier named Larry Michels.  Larry wanted to marry Ethel and take her away to his home in Minnesota.   Her Mom and Dad (especially her Dad) did not want her to go.  And so, began what this this wonderful woman is deemed to have lived her mantra by:  Never ask why, always ask yourself why not.

Ethel said, “why not” and married Larry.  Larry took her away to his home on a farm in Minnesota. Ethel knew nothing about farms.  She was the daughter of a fisherman and did not know a thing about farming.  Larry was still in the service so he could not stay with Ethel in Minnesota all of the time.  And so, Ethel was left alone with Larry’s family.  Larry’s family didn’t know what to think of this poor little girl from Canada.  They often treated her unkindly.  However, Ethel persevered.   Without hesitation she jumped right in and never asked “why” but always asked “why not”.  She knew she could completely handle whatever came her way in life and so she almost became a farmer.

Ethel and Larry eventually moved to Delaware where they raised 6 children, 2 boys and 4 girls.  She went to work as a waitress to help Larry with the finances.    Ethel knew nothing about waitressing but again she asked, “why not”, I will learn.  Everyone Ethel met loved her, she had a gentle kind manner and zoned in on every individual when they spoke to her.  She zoned in, in a manner true to her nature, kind and gentle. She became a very successful waitress and even with six children at home, Ethel was able to help her family meet their financial needs.

It is not surprising that Ethel’s winning personality brought her to greater heights.  She became a teacher’s aide at a school for disabled children.  Ethel absolutely excelled in this job with her charm and “why not attitude”.   

When her husband Larry fell ill, Ethel was the one who nursed him with love and complete attention right to the end.

Awhile after Larry’s death, Ethel found the second love of her life.  She dated and married Paige Cherrix. What a whirl wind marriage they had. Like Ethel, Paige was the life of the party and consequently they spent several years dancing, travelling, singing and enjoying each other.  When Paige fell ill, Ethel again provided him with the same love, attention and caring she was so used to providing for her children, the children at the school, Larry and anyone else she felt needed it.

Ethel was very close to her brother Bill and his wife Edith and their family. They travelled together and laughed so much when in each other’s presence that the whole world marveled at their love of life and closeness.

Ethel had one daughter who took on her winning attitude as well as her fun-loving and caring way. Her name is Patty. As Ethel’s care giver, Patty provided Ethel with complete and absolute love in every way possible each and every day.  Ethel’s room was considered a show room with pictures of all the people and events Ethel once loved, just in case Ethel, if only for a moment, remembered them.  Ethel was a fashion model with her clothes chosen with love and attention by Patty. Every celebration be it Easter, Halloween, Christmas or her birthday, Ethel was dressed for the occasion.  The love, caring and attention Ethel once showed to everyone, Patty, with her winning attitude passed on to her Mom. In Ethel’s lifetime she lost one daughter, two of her sons, two husbands, her parents, five siblings and one beloved sister in law.    As she entered heaven into God’s open arms, -Wow did she have an amazing welcoming committee.  And, as Ethel May Wells, the little girl from St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada walks through those gates, I would suggest there is  dancing, laughter, joy and peace as her family and friends, once again meet the lady who never asked “why” but always asked “why not”.

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6 Condolences for Ethel M. (Wells) (Michels) Cherrix

  • Our heartfelt condolences to all of OUR special cousins and their spouses, on the passing of their Mom, Mother-In-Law, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great Great Grandmother, Our Dear Aunt Ethel. She now is in the arms of her Maker and again joining all of her family members who passed from this temporary life to spend eternity with them, which includes our precious Mom and Dad, Bill, Aunt Ethels brother, and Edith, Aunt Ethels Sister-In-Law. May the souls of all faithful departed, rest in PEACE. Bernoce and Bill Wells.

  • Dear Friends Patty and Charlie –(This might be a second message —My first one i think got lost !!!!!

    JEAN NATE REPORTING IN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Boy did I look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays when I knew my day would be full of laughter with Ethel –Mary –Patty-Peggy -Deena–Beverly–

    On arriving at Karen Duncan’s door—I knew I would be greeted with boys and girls –in a semi circle —ready for Music class because Ethel Michels -Cherixx had those kids FIRED UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh how I loved to be with her —and laugh and laugh and laugh —nobody was more fun —well maybe her daughter Patty in the aisle of drug stores !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So many stories –holes in my socks–shoes tied up on the ceiling—- Ethel’s red bows in her hair on a Friday gearing up for the big dance with Paige —our programs —so great because of the likes of my Ethel —

    You guys are the epitome of love and care for a parent —- I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR YOU BOTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I shall be with you on Friday morning for lots of hugs —

    Hank

  • Michaels family, So sorry for the loss of your mother. Patty, your mom was such a special lady. Sorry to miss services, but traveling for the holidays. Will have you all in my prayers on Friday.

  • I didn’t know you as a person , would loved to have met you , I’m Alice’s daughter in Scotland, I hope you are at peace

  • I wanted to be with you Patty today but circumstances did not allow it. Please know that I am there with you in spirit. You and Charlie have done an amazing job for my beautiful Aunt Ethel’s send off. She is at peace now Patty. Wonderful Peace. – The kind of Peace that knows no understanding. I love you Patty. Lainey

  • Patty and Charlie,
    I extend heartfelt sympathy on the death of your beloved mom and mother-in-law. I will remember Ethel for her cheerfulness and sense of humor. I hope you find comfort in fond memories, and the easing of your grief with the passage of time.