Dorothy Ellison

Dorothy Ellison ( )

Dorothy G. Ellison, a retired medical secretary who was a longtime member of Beth Tfiloh Congregation, died June 30 of kidney failure at her Pikesville home. She was 94.

The daughter of Maurice Hirschhorn and Sarah Polonsky Hirschhorn, Dorothy Gertrude Hirschhorn was born and raised in Baltimore.

After graduating in 1937 from Western High School, she began training as a nurse at Sinai Hospital, then located on East Monument Street, before leaving the profession in 1935 to marry Max Milton Ellison.

Mrs. Ellison went back to work as a medical secretary and transcriptionist for Drs. Gelman, Filtzer, Reichmeister and Becker. She worked there for 30 years and retired in 1970.

At Beth Tfiloh, Mrs. Ellison sang alto in the congregation's temple choir and performed on local television with the group on several occasions. She also was an active member of Hadassah and many charitable organizations.

Her husband, who was controller of Barre-National Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co., died in 2002.

She enjoyed playing Broadway show tunes and other piano favorites, and hosting Sunday summer pool parties at her longtime Randallstown home.

"She considered her first and best occupation to be matriarch to an increasingly large extended family and her children's friends, and she was beloved by them all," said her daughter, Joann Ellison Rodgers of Owings Mills.

"A talented poet, she was fiercely self-reliant, living on her own after the death of her husband, managing all of her personal affairs, and voting what she boasted was a 'straight Democratic ticket' in every primary and general election well into her 90s," said her daughter.

Mrs. Ellison enjoyed purchasing elaborately engraved sterling silver ritual wine cups, which she presented to new family spouses and for each grandchild, niece, nephew, great-niece and great-nephew on their birth.

"She and her husband traveled to Europe, Israel and Greece, and enjoyed annual trips to Atlantic City and Florida with brothers- and sisters-in-laws and all of their children," said Ms. Rodgers.

Funeral services were held July 3 at Sol Levinson & Bros. in Pikesville.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Ellison is survived by a sister, Harriet Feinglass of Baltimore; two grandsons; and two great-grandchildren. Her son, Jeffrey J. Ellison, died in 2007.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com