Cover photo for Ellen Elizabeth DeLay's Obituary
Ellen Elizabeth DeLay Profile Photo

Ellen Elizabeth DeLay

July 8, 1943 — June 27, 2023

Council Grove

Ellen Elizabeth DeLay


Ellen Elizabeth (Sheedy) DeLay passed away June 27, 2023, at Council Grove Assisted Living Center at the age of 79. She was born July 8, 1943, in Mobile, Alabama, to Caroline Dobson (Donovan) Sheedy and Charles Llewellyn Sheedy, Jr.

Ellen graduated from Yates Center High School in 1961 where she was a cheerleader, drum majorette, and president of student council her senior year. She was active in National Honor Society, Kayettes, and Future Homemakers of America (FHA). Also during her senior year and shortly after her 18th birthday, she was inducted into her mother's PEO chapter.

Ellen graduated from Kansas State University with a BS in Elementary Education in 1965. During her time at K State she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority where she served as president for 2 years, was a twirler with the K-Steppers, and was active with many social, honor, and service organizations. 

Ellen married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Grove DeLay, on July 24, 1965, in Yates Center, Kansas. Ellen joined Dennis living in Gardner, Kansas, where Ellen began her teaching career as a 6th grade teacher at Ridgeview School in Olathe, Kansas, in 1965.

Dennis and Ellen moved to Council Grove, Kansas, in 1968 when Dennis became principal at Council Grove High School and Ellen accepted an elementary teaching position. She taught only a short time  before taking a break from teaching to start their family. Kerry was born January 31, 1970, and Doug was born December 24, 1974.

Attending school while raising her young family, Ellen received her MS degree in special education from Emporia State University in 1980. She returned to teaching part time in 1979, serving as the gifted education facilitator for USD 417 for the Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative. In 1989, she returned to regular classroom teaching at Council Grove Elementary. She then moved to middle school science where she proudly taught until retiring in 2004. Ellen was honored as the USD 417 Master Teacher in 1991.

Ellen was active in her church, community, and other civic- and philanthropic-oriented organizations including PEO Chapter H where she held numerous officer positions, United Methodist Women groups, Alpha Theta Delta Kappa Gamma, USD 417 Teachers Association, TPM, Score and Four, Neota Club, and Ivy League investment club. She led several community beautification projects with the Pride Committee and loved serving as judge for many Wah-Shun-Gah Day parades.

In 2015, Dennis and Ellen were recognized by the Council Grove / Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism as Citizens of the Year. They were honored to be acknowledged for their dedication and commitment to the community where they raised their family and spent most of their lives.

Ellen served as a Director on the Board of the Tri-County Telephone Association, Inc. from August, 2008, to March, 2017, serving as Secretary for 6 years of her tenure.

Ellen and Dennis were big Kansas State Wildcats fans, holding basketball season tickets for many years and football season tickets for 50 years. They rarely missed a home game and attended nearly every Wildcat bowl game.

She is survived by her children Kerry Lee DeLay McCane (spouse Neal), Lee's Summit, Missouri, and Douglas Brian DeLay (spouse Sarah), Platte City, Missouri; siblings Charles Walter Sheedy (spouse Wendy), Yates Center, Kansas, and Carol Jean (Sheedy) Stowell, Chanute, Kansas; grandchildren Paige Nichole McCane, Rhett Calvin DeLay, Caden Lane DeLay, and Drew Elizabeth DeLay; sister-in-law Vicki Sue (DeLay) Long (spouse Loren); and her faithful companion, Beasley. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis Grove DeLay, and her parents.

The memorial service for Ellen will be held at the Council Grove / Dunlap United Methodist Church at 21 N Mission Street, Council Grove, Kansas, on July 5th at 11 a.m. Brenda Davids will officiate the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Morris County Hospital Foundation and/or Council Grove Assisted Living by mail to Sawyer Funeral Home, Box 273, Council Grove, Kansas 66846.

The family would like to thank Robin Roberts and the wonderfully caring staff at Council Grove Assisted Living, Morris County Hospital, and Accord Hospice of Manhattan for their amazing care and attention through the years.


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Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Council Grove/Dunlap United Methodist Church

21 N Mission St, Council Grove, KS 66846

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