Ellie: lessons in gallantry

Eleanor O'Connell Decret

Many of you will have heard that Ellie has lost her last battle with ALS.

Ellie was tough, wily, manipulative, opinionated, difficult to please, enthusiastic, hopeful, capricious, fey, and utterly charming.

Ellie didn't flinch. Ellie held on.

While I was fussing about the placement of a shoulder seam, Ellie's feeding tube detached.

I was annoyed that "my" perfume was discontinued and then brought back "updated" with synthetics and smelling like drugstore hairspray. Ellie breathed through a respirator and prayed to get through every night without a power outage.

I was sad that my last pair of real Joan and David shoes were beyond repair. Ellie got around in a wheelchair or was carried.

I bitched about airport lines. Ellie dealt with slow-moving ambulances.

Ellie was born into a quirky and apparently at one time monied family in Texas, raised on the Southern California coast, was the mother of a beautiful daughter, prayed when frightened as we all do, argued with God as many of us do, moved to New York, moved to France, divorced a man who stopped loving her, married a man she never stopped loving, cherished (and fought with) her friends, loved (and fought with) her family,  and was at all times fierce and loyal and true.

you can learn more about Ellie at her blog, which is still up as I write this, havesomedecorum.blogspot.com


  1. I hadn't heard until now. Your words summon life well.
    And we pray

  2. I can't believe she's gone. She inspired us all, in so many ways.
    I'm so happy I have the things I bought from her online shop for my house. We had a toast to her last night at our family dinner, sitting around the antique paisley throw I use as a tablecloth, that Ellie sourced at a flea market in Paris. Just a bit of her style made our lives richer... whether it was her fierceness or her actual perfect antique picks, or her loyalty which was such an example to us.
    So beautifully written Fred thank you. XO

  3. I have her bamboo hall tree standing proudly in my living room. It arrived from Paris as if wrapped by elves. I miss her dearly already. Thank you for the lovely tribute.

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  5. I bought some chinoiserie pieces from her. Whenever I light a candle with the matches from the match holder, I will be reminded of her bright life. xo


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