Eleanor Ruth Steffen died peacefully in her home on Rock City Road in Woodstock, New York on April 21, 2022.
She was born to Anne and Joseph Blum in New York City, on May 1, 1937. She married Ronald Lipkins with whom she had a daughter, Susan and son, Leonard. After Ronald’s death in 1966, she got her BA and her MFA in Art from Queens college and taught art at Brentwood High School on Long Island. Enrolling in a summer art program in Woodstock, she met her teacher Bernard Steffen, a highly respected artist. They fell in love and ultimately married. Sadly their marriage was cut very short by Steff’’s demise from ALS, after which Ellie went back to finish out her art teaching career.
Upon her retirement, she reflected on her charmed time in Woodstock and moved back there in 1993. In Woodstock, Ellie continued to be a very active painter, painting every day, in fact still painting and making art on the night before her end, as she often did when she was experiencing insomnia. Her warm welcome into the arts scene in Woodstock was paved by the legacy of her late husband “Steff” who was widely loved, as well as on her own, making many friends. She was a member of Woodstock Artists Association.
Ellie was also very proud of her involvement in AA, having reached 32 years of sobriety and was loved and had many friends in that community. Her late husband’s struggle with ALS led her to volunteer to run an ALS support group and help people through that difficult time. Ellie loved her pets and had cats and dogs. Her last dog, Eva was her closest companion until the end with the loss of Eva 4 days before Ellie’s passing.
In Woodstock, Ellie was beloved and known as a larger than life, flamboyant character who was outspoken. She loved people of all ages and especially little children, loved exposing them to art and painting. She adored her own children and grandchildren. She is survived by her daughter Susan Lipkins and husband David Wiebe, her son Leonard Lipkins and wife Robin Martin, her grandsons, Akira Shimizu and wife Enrica, and Jermiah, Noah, and Jordan Martin, and great grandson Kenzo Shimizu. She was predeceased by siblings Robert and Steven Blum. Ellie was buried on April 28, 2022 at the Woodstock Artists Cemetery with Rabbi A.B. Itkin presiding and family attending.
Arrangements are under the supervision of the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home Inc., corner of John and Lafayette Sts., Saugerties. Burial was held in the Woodstock Artist Cemetery. Further obituary information and expressions of condolence may be shared on her Tribute Wall at SeaomonWilseyFuneralHome.com