Elsie Ingram, 89, Warren


Elsie (Bristow), Ingram, 89, of Warren, passed away peacefully on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 at the Scalabrini Villa Inc Nursing Home in North Kingstown.

Born in Warren, she was the daughter of the late Dennis and Mabel (Paine) Bristow. A 1943 graduate of Warren High School, she entered the Army Cadet Nurse Corps and attended Waterbury Hospital School of Nursing in Connecticut, and the University of Rhode Island. Elsie decided at a young age to become a nurse after spending a year at Wallum Lake Sanatorium with tuberculosis, and losing two siblings to the disease. She worked at several area hospitals early in her career and had very fond memories of her days at Pawtucket Memorial Hospital. She was supervisor of the practical nurse program at Diman Regional Vocational School in southeastern Massachusetts, and was also a clinical instructor for the former Fall River Diploma School of Nursing. Later in her career, she worked at nursing homes in Warren and Bristol and was a substitute school nurse in town.  She was a very dedicated nurse who had a lot of pride in her profession.

After retirement, Elsie became active in town politics and was an outspoken advocate for education in town. She was a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel that studied the need for regionalization of the Warren and Bristol school systems. She later served on the former Home Rule Charter Committee to determine if Warren would benefit from a charter. She was an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary of the Bay Church, and was also a Benedictine Oblate of Portsmouth Abbey.  In 1996 she received a Community Service Award for her tireless volunteer work in town.

Elsie was often seen walking her dog or could be found working in her rose garden along the stone wall of her home.  She was a farmer at heart and found peace working in the soil. She was a kind, generous, very determined person, and was always willing to offer a helping hand to someone in need. In her last months of life at the nursing home, “Else” as she was known, was often seen trying to cheer up the other residents of the home.

She leaves behind her sons, Jerry Ingram and Dennis Ingram of Warren; and a daughter, Noreen Mercier of South Kingstown.  She had eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She has a living brother, Warren Bristow of Narragansett, and was predeceased by siblings Noreen Bristow Barker and John, Vincent and Steven Bristow.

Arrangements are with Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Road, Warren, where family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. Services are Saturday, Dec. 21, at 8:30 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. in St Mary of the Bay Church, Main Street. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Elsie Ingram Memorial Scholarship Fund to assist a Warren high school student interested in pursuing an education in nursing. Donations can be sent c/o Bristol-Warren Regional School District, Trustee Funds, 151 State Street, Bristol, RI 02809. Visit wjsmithfh.com.


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