Ella Mae Thompson Worman, age 85, of Knoxville, Tenn., formerly of Edinburg, died May 4, 2011, at Mercy Residential Hospice after an extended stay at Hillcrest Healthcare North. She was born May 31, 1925, the oldest child of Walter Steele and Lola Beeler Thompson.
She joined Washington Presbyterian Church in 1935 and rejoined when she moved back to Knoxville. Her family had been members of this church for generations. She graduated from Maryville College in 1948 and attended library school at Emory University. She was a librarian at Maryville College, Carter High School, and managed Park City, Burlington, and Fountain City branches of the Knoxville and Knox County library systems. She was circulation librarian at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro where she met her "Sweetie" Harold Worman who taught music at ASU. They moved to Edinburg, Texas in 1968, to pursue his teaching career at the University of Texas - Pan American. She was instrumental in acquiring funds for and designing a new public library in Edinburg and was an active member of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization). They loved the many summers they spent in Interlochen, Mich., where Harold taught at the National Music Camp.
Ella Mae moved back to Knoxville in 1996 following her husband's death. She loved East Tennessee, its people, nature, plant, and animal life. She was especially fond of cats. Physical disabilities limited her participation in church and community life but her interest in Knoxville and East Tennessee activities continued. She was an avid reader and loved all types of books, which were her windows to the world. She was a creative and exquisite needlework artist. Throughout her life Ella Mae enjoyed and loved people. She was a supportive, fabulous and fun loving "Aunt Mae" to her nieces and nephews and was always involved in their lives. She had a warm and caring heart and will be remembered for her sweet smile and wonderful sense of humor.
She was preceded in death by parents Walter and Lola Thompson; husband Harold Leroy Worman, a Kansas native; sister and brother-in-law Martha Thompson and H. V. Donahue Jr. and nephew Van Donahue. Survivors include brother and sister-in-law Beeler and Hazel Thompson of Corryton; sister and brother-in-law Katy and Bev Gooch of Knoxville; sister-in-law Eula Worman Conradt of Oxford, Kansas; nieces and nephews include Beth Donahue of Chattanooga; Amy Donahue and husband, Bob Passman, of Silver Spring, MD; Stuart and Janice Donahue, Louise Donahue Albino and husband Aaron, Betty (Mrs. Van) Donahue, Frances Thompson and husband, Eric Shafferman, all of Corryton; Shirley Slack and husband Lawrence of Oxford, Kansas; and Jim and Mary Ann Butterworth of Wichita, Kansas; great nieces and nephews include Aaron Donahue, Steele, Samuel, and Garrison Albino, and Rachel and Shelly McGill. Special friends are Evelyn Shipe Simpson of Knoxville, Betty McBee Sloan of Corryton, Robert Yates of Memphis and Helen Draeger of Edinburg.
Her niece, Janice Donahue, provided her with excellent and loving care, which allowed Ella Mae to stay in her home for several additional years. Special thanks also go to the caring and competent staff on the main floor of Hillcrest Healthcare North.
The family will receive friends on Friday, May 6, from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M., with a celebration of life service following at Stevens Mortuary. Reverend Rick McIntee will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Washington Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 152, Corryton, TN, 37721.