Ellyn Joy Goodrich, born May 13, 1969, embodied love, sharing it with the world as if from an infinite source. She adored her children, Harrison, Gavin and Drake; her parents, Linda and Alan; her brothers, Brad and Steven; her extended family and countless friends without reserve, with an intensity and focus and grace that benefitted everyone who knew her.
A curious, intelligent person, Ellyn excelled at academics throughout her life. She grew up in Highland Park, IL graduating from high school in 1987. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University where she studied international relations and art history. A few years later she attended culinary school in Chicago and qualified as a Pastry Chef. A decade later, Ellyn studied mediation and conflict resolution, training as a Mediator, which in many ways led her to teaching. She studied education, received her teaching certificate and entered a profession that met her love of learning and passion for helping others.
Ellyn’s intelligence, quiet determination, amazing work ethic, and nurturing attitude meant that she was accomplished in both her work and volunteer life. She baked professionally at high-end, fine dining restaurants in Alaska, most notably The Gran Aleutian in Dutch Harbor and The Homestead in Homer. In Washington, she worked at restaurants, bakeries and cafes in Lopez Island. Teaching Special Education at the Friday Harbor Elementary School, Ellyn felt deeply connected to her students, her fellow staff and the work itself. Simultaneously, over many years, she volunteered countless hours with community groups, taking on tasks large and small, some in fact monumental, like establishing a youth baseball program on Lopez. In many cases, she followed her boys’ interests, devoting energy and time to the groups that supported their activities.
Ellyn was energetic, magically so, and enjoyed many recreational pursuits that sustained and sparked joy in her, such as tennis, mahjong, baking, cooking, card games, board games, puzzles, walking, and spending time on the beach. As much as she relished the doing, she adored the people who shared these pastimes with her, giving added meaning and depth to these experiences.
Throughout her life, Ellyn was a wonderful, empathetic, funny, spunky, tough, generous, astute, thoughtful, loving person making her a tremendous mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, coworker and friend. She nurtured her relationships and cared so deeply for all, though most especially for her boys, Harrison, Gavin and Drake, who she loved profoundly, more than anything. Her family was so dear to her. Her friends from Highland Park, became her extended family. In every phase of life, she connected with people in such incredible ways, garnering love and gathering friendships for which she was endlessly grateful. She loved living in Friday Harbor, valued her friends and the beautiful community that embraced her there.
She died on August 31, 2022, from Cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer. Donations can be made in her honor to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation.