MaryEllen Bjorklund Chemero Harris of Newtown died suddenly on October 21 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She had been doing one of her favorite things (taking care of dogs with her stepdaughter) when a cerebral aneurysm ruptured. She was 65.
She was the daughter of the late Mary and Joseph Bjorklund.
Born on April 25, 1945, MaryEllen grew up in Monroe, attended Monroe public schools, and graduated from Masuk High School. She later attended nursing school and was a licensed LPN.
She is survived by her husband, David Harris of Newtown; a sister, Claire Bjorklund; a son, Christian Chemero of Durango, Colo.; and daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Sean Gallaway of Brookfield; and a stepdaughter and son-inlaw, Nichola and Tom Conroy of Newtown. She also leaves seven grandchildren, Michael and Brian Conroy of Newtown, Karli, Jack and Noah Seri of Brookfield, Rayne Gallaway of Brookfield, and Brandi Braziel of Sandy Hook; three dogs, a wild golden retriever named Maddie and two terriers, Daisy-Mae and Sara Lee; and Pat the Bunny.
In addition to grooming and caring for (and playing with) dogs, MaryEllen loved cooking, gardening, bicycling, and being outdoors. She loved fishing, and for many years she and David took extended visits to Ireland, a highlight of which was always the good fishing they found there. She and David were also owners of the former Saugatuck Tackle Shop.
MaryEllen was a huge fan of Elvis Presley and Rod Stewart. She was affectionately called “Moona” and “Mare” by generations of family and friends. She will be remembered for her deep love and dedication to her devoted husband, and to her children and grandchildren.
MaryEllen had a passion for animals and their welfare. She was a caring, giving person, who was always willing to share anything she had. In the end, her body took care of others through multiple organ transplants.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations in honor of MaryEllen Harris be made to The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), PO Box 2484, Richmond VA 23218, or Canine Advocates of Newtown, PO Box 236, Newtown CT 06470.
A celebration of MaryEllen’s life is planned for Saturday, October 30, at 2 pm, at Northeast Baptist Church, 101 East Pembroke Road in Danbury. All are welcome.
The Newtown Bee October 29, 2010