Elizabeth “Ellen” Melchor Karriker flew with the angels on Monday, March 30, 2020. She was born in Mooresville, N.C., on November 22, 1944, to the late Otis Archie and Jennie Byrd (Arthurs) Melchor.
Ellen graduated from Mooresville Senior High School in 1963 and worked in clerical positions until she found her true calling in the 1980s as a preschool teacher at First Presbyterian Church in Mooresville. She taught for over 22 years as “Miss Ellen,” (as she was lovingly called by so many children) until she retired in 2006. Not one to sit for long, she soon began working part-time at Tuesday Morning where she met many wonderful new friends. She had a second retirement party just this past November, ending her 13 years with Tuesday Morning at the age of 75.
Ellen met James “Jim” Richard Karriker at a holiday dance in 1968. Jim was a 6-foot-2 young Navy veteran who was smitten by the barely 5-foot-tall Ellen. They married on February 14, 1969, after courting for only three months. They soon moved to Charlotte, then later to Raleigh for Jim’s job, then eventually back to Mooresville, where they bought their home on Glenwood Drive and started a family. Although the budget was often tight over the years, Ellen and Jim made sure the family had a vacation together every summer, mostly camping at the mountains or the beach. In fact, Ellen loved the beach. It was her favorite place to go. She would walk miles on the beach every day, enjoying the sounds of the waves and the sea gulls chattering away.
She was a caring person to all, but she had a special place in her heart for animals. Her backyard was a sanctuary to all kinds of birds, cats, and the occasional raccoon (and even a little skunk one summer). Her most beloved pets over the years were Sheeba, the best Australian Shepherd mix anyone could ever have; her loyal Midnight, a short hair black cat; and, most recently, Mookie, a gentle white cat who misses her very much already.
Ellen was preceded in death by her husband, Jim.
Survivors include her son Ronald Todd Karriker (Glenda) of Fort Mill, S.C.; daughter Jennie Karriker Davis (Jim) of Concord; grandchildren, Meagan Sutton Dailey (Justin), Mackenzie Sutton LaFlamme (Zackery), Pierson Davis and Scarlett Davis. She also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Raegan Dailey and Everly LaFlamme.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name may be made to Lake Norman Lucky Cats, 20117 W Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031 or to The National Audubon Society, Attn: Tribute Gifts, 225 Varick Street 7th floor, New York, NY 10014 (or by phone at 844-428-3826).
The family will have a celebration of life later in May at Ellen’s longtime home, 239 Glenwood Drive, Mooresville, NC 28115. Her wishes were to have the service in her backyard under her big oak tree. Details will be announced closer to the time of the service.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving Mrs. Karriker’s family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.