Ellen Lappen

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Ellen Mary Marguerite Kiley Lappen, 75, watercolor artist, believed flowers are like a beautiful ballet. Great-grandmother-to-be, devoted mother, grandmother and wife of 57 years, Ellen was called home by the Holy Spirit in the early morning hours of March 2, 2018. In Appleton, she was born on June 23, 1942, to Dorothy (Van Gorp) and George W. Kiley, parents of six children. Ellen was the third-born child and only girl. She attended Catholic grammar school and graduated from Appleton West High School at the age of 17 with the class of 1960. She went on to pursue a career in nursing and worked at St. Elizabeth in obstetrics directly following graduation, later going on to attend University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

As an artist, Ellen exhibited her work in many northeastern and southern galleries. She painted commission work and contributed her original paintings to support many charities, including the American Legion Auxiliary, Veterans Administration, St. Chrysostom School, The St. Clare Hospital Auxiliary and many more. One of her paintings for the Rose Garden Society, depicting the Barbara Bush Rose, was displayed in the White House. She volunteered at Washington Elementary and in the Aiken, South Carolina, school district where she enjoyed teaching and sharing her love of watercolor and painting florals. She especially loved to paint from living plants, many of which her husband, Bill (master gardener, Clemson University and University of Wisconsin-Extension), nurtured in his own gardens at their home. Ellen was influenced and inspired by her great-grandmother, Clare Van Gorp, a recognized Appleton area artist, who loved displaying bouquets each season from the wildflowers she gathered near their cottage on Lake Winnebago.

On July 9, 1960, Ellen and William Lappen were joined in Holy Matrimony at St. Mary’s Church in Appleton. They raised three children: Clare Marie Anna, Joan Marie Kathryn, and Joel John James Lappen.

Ellen is survived by her husband, three children and four grandchildren, Marie Clare Zaro, G. Marc Zaro, Anne Catherine (Cory) Uranich, and Gabriella Vaiana. Ellen is also survived by her brothers, Thomas (Jude) Kiley, Patrick (Mary) Kiley, Michael (Patricia) Kiley, Terrance (Theresa) Kiley; the family of Glen and Patricia Lappen, 41 first cousins, 20 nieces and nephews, and her great-aunt, Catherine (Van Gorp) Meixl.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother John Kiley and his son David, Jude Kiley, her in-laws, Alma and Joseph Lappen, her brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Don (Mary) Lappen and their daughter Kathy, Glen (Pat) Lappen and their son Thomas.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018, on the feast day of the Patron Saint of the Arts, Saint Catherine, at St. Anthony Catholic Church with the Rev. Joel Sember and the Rev. John Hephner concelebrating. Visitation with the urn present will take place at the church from 9 a.m. up to the time of service. In lieu of flowers (though she loved flowers), Ellen’s wish was that family and friends make a donation to support the Arts at St. Anthony’s Elementary School.