Vivian Ann Ellis
VHFP Visionary

Born on June 9, 1929 in Wilmington, Delaware

Community Activist

Interviewed by Nikita Glenn
2005 Visionary Heritage Fellow
Coppin State University

Vivian Ann Ellis was born in Wilmington, Delaware, June 9, 1929. Her parents, Robina E. Crawford Singleton and Paul R. Singleton, brought her up in a close-knit community. Her father worked as an engineer and her mother worked as domestic before the couple married. While growing up, Mrs. Ellis was involved in various activities in the neighborhood, such as the YMCA, a dance group and was president of the Girl’s Club. Mrs. Ellis was educated in the Delaware public school system. At 18, she began Berean Training School in Philadelphia, PA for two years.  Following that, she moved to Harlem to find employment because New York had endless job opportunities for African Americans. Mrs. Ellis found a job with the city, and became the secretary for the Deputy Mayor of the city of New York.

While looking for a job, she met Willard D. Ellis, and they married in June, 1954. The couple had three children. Mrs. Ellis instilled in her children the importance of an education. She was active in their education and served on the PTA board while her children attended school. She pushed her children and those in the community to achieve beyond their best. Many families were not as fortunate as her family, so Mrs. Ellis made it her mission to help them. Whether it was food or clothing that they needed, she was there. Mrs. Ellis assisted adults in her community by providing them with the coaching they needed to pass the SAT or the Civil Service test.
After many years of service, she retired and moved to Baltimore to help care for her mother. In Baltimore, Mrs. Ellis again impacted the lives of many people in her community. She continued her mission of teaching young people the importance of education, helping them when they were in need and providing a place for them to come and feel a sense of safety and security. She often went above and beyond the call of duty to provide opportunities for families to better themselves. Mrs. Ellis always has words of wisdom for those who need spiritual guidance.



URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/ellisvivian