Thursday, January 14, 2021

In Memoriam: Mary Ellen Westlake

Mary Ellen Westlake passed away at the age of 89 on December 29, 2020 at home with her daughter, Susan, at her side. Some of you may remember Mary Ellen as a Latin teacher at Alfred-Almond Central School in the Southern Tier.

She was admitted to the hospital the day before Thanksgiving with a number of serious problems and was expected to survive only a couple of days. However, after a couple of days she woke up and in her dry sense of humor said “I feel better. Can I have some chocolate ice cream?” She spent two weeks in the hospital and then went home to her daughter’s house where she was placed under hospice care at the recommendation of her doctor.

Mary Ellen was a 1949 graduate of Alfred-Almond Central School where she was described as a “radical” in her high school yearbook and one who would pursue her goals with energy and enthusiasm. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Latin and Master of Education in Guidance Counseling from Alfred University.

Her first teaching job was as a Latin and physical education teacher at her Alma Mater, Alfred-Almond Central School. After a few years off when her daughter was born she returned to the Latin classroom at A-A from which she retired in 1988 after twenty-seven years of teaching. During this time she started and advised an active chapter of the Junior Classical League, taking students to state and national conventions as well as other state and regional events. She also served as advisor to the National Honor Society and Academic All-Stars at the local school.

Mary Ellen was very active in community service and was honored as the Alfred-Almond Association’s Outstanding Service Award Honoree of 2020. Throughout her life she had imparted to her family her healthy sense of civic pride as they worked together to nurture people and serve their community.

She is survived by her daughter and family, including six grandchildren and four great-children. Her husband, John, predeceased her in 2003.

If you would like to read her complete obituary, visit Baker-Swan Funeral Home’s website at Also, if you would like to send her family a sympathy card, mail it to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Steere, 343 State Route 21, Hornell, NY 14843.

Requiescas in pace, Mary Ellen.