Cover photo for Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington's Obituary
1930 Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington 2023

Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington

May 23, 1930 — May 3, 2023

Reidsville, North Carolina

Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington, age 92, died at Clare Bridge Brookdale Memory Care in Reidsville, North Carolina on May 3, 2023.  She was in no pain and passed away peacefully, for which her family is thankful.

Pauline was born on May 23, 1930, the first of seven children born to James Earl and Martha Petitt McBrayer of Morehead, Kentucky.

Pauline was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Harold Ellington, on February 11, 2007, her brother Kenneth McBrayer who died as an infant, her sisters Phyllis McBrayer Dixon and Hildreth McBrayer Chapman, and her granddaughter Anne Katherine Nixon who died as an infant.

She is survived by two daughters, Terry Ellington Nixon (married to Doug) of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Leigh Ann Ellington Ramey (married to Rob) of Gibsonville, North Carolina, her grandchildren Adam, Emily, Caroline, and Ethan Nixon, and Jordan Ramey Doss (married to Chris), Travis Ramey (married to Laina Boyd Ramey), Molly Ramey Bounds (married to Russell), and Hannah Ramey Minor (married to Adam), her great-grandchildren Daniel and Amelia Doss, and Lillian and Margaret Ramey. She is also survived by her siblings Jack McBrayer, Francis McBrayer Ausbun, and Philip McBrayer and many much-loved nieces and nephews.

Pauline married Harold Glenmore Ellington on August 25, 1949. The couple lived and raised their family in Morehead until moving to Elon, North Carolina in 2004 to be near one of their daughters.

Being the eldest of six children, as a teen, Pauline, nicknamed “Sissy”, was often looked to as an adult and given much responsibility. She helped manage the household while her father served in WWII and her mother managed the family businesses.

Pauline was a graduate of Breckinridge Training School, Class of 1948, and attended Morehead State College. She taught first through fourth grades in the two-room Johnson School on Cranston Road, Rowan County, where her mother-in-law, Marie Ellington, taught fifth through eighth grades. She later worked at General Telephone and for several years worked as a secretary at WMOR Radio in Morehead.  For more than 30 years she worked at McBrayer’s Ben Franklin store as bookkeeper and secretary, sharing an office with her beloved brother, Jack, until their retirement.

Pauline loved books. She read voraciously and kept a record of the hundreds of books she read. She also read and collected cookbooks and delighted in trying new recipes along with family favorites. Her banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, and peanut butter fudge are legendary. She loved entertaining, and she and Harold especially enjoyed hosting family get-togethers and an annual Christmas party for their church family. She was a consummate hostess. Even when her health was failing, she was concerned about hospitality, making sure her live-in caregivers were comfortable and had everything they needed.

Pauline was an avid, expert, and prolific needleworker. When her daughters were small, she sewed many of their clothes. She crocheted lacy bedspreads, curtains, and tablecloths. She taught knitting classes at the McBrayer stores in Morehead and Olive Hill. She knitted Christmas stockings for each of her children and grandchildren and their families, and for her nieces and nephews and many of her great-nieces and nephews, totaling more than 100 in all. She exquisitely cross-stitched many pictures, samplers, afghans, and quilts.

She loved her family. Her daughters and grandchildren have memories of Park Lake, listening for whippoorwills, watching for “redbirds”, fun vacation trips together, her crossword puzzles worked in ink, her armful of golden bangle bracelets, and Christmas. She loved Christmas. She loved her extended family members who lived nearby and eagerly anticipated Christmas and summer vacations when the families of her brothers and sisters who lived far away would come “home” to be together.

Pauline came to believe and trust in Jesus Christ as a teen and was baptized at the Morehead First Church of God where her family worshipped. She and Harold were married in the parsonage of the church and were active in the church there until their move to NC. Their faithfulness and example helped guide their daughters to their own belief and trust in Jesus. She served for many years as the church treasurer. Her Christian faith was the most important part of her life. Even after she moved to Clare Bridge, when many of her memories had been lost, she often bowed her head to give thanks before her meals. Some of her final words were about the importance of knowing Christ.

Please join her family in celebrating her life and heavenly reception with funeral services being conducted at 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, May 10, 2023 in the chapel of the Michael R. Gray Funeral Home in Morehead with Rev. Allan Hutchinson officiating.

Burial will follow in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

Visitation is after 12:00 Noon Wednesday at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be family and friends.

In lieu of flowers contributions are suggested to Hospice at

The Michael R. Gray Funeral Home, 808 Old Flemingsburg Road, Morehead, Kentucky  40351 is caring for all arrangements for Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Edna Pauline McBrayer Ellington, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

12:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)

Michael R Gray Funeral Home - Morehead

808 Old Flemingsburg Rd, Morehead, KY 40351

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)

Michael R Gray Funeral Home - Morehead

808 Old Flemingsburg Rd, Morehead, KY 40351

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens

Flemingsburg Road, Morehead, KY 40351

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