GUILFORD – This year’s Citizen of the Year is Mary Ellen Parsons. Mary Ellen was born in Guilford. She is the daughter of Hazel Dominic Carter Fellows and Warren James Fellows. She graduated Guilford School in 1956. She became Captain of the cheerleaders, and was a Majorette in the band. She also participated in school athletics program, the Visual Aids club, and was a member of the yearbook staff. She was also in both the Girls Glee Club and the Mixed Chorus.
After graduation, she worked at several places including Bendix, where in 1957, Mary Ellen met the man she was to marry, Ray Parsons. They were married on July 18, 1959, and over the next eleven years, they had six children, Ron, Carol, Suzanne, Mark, Stephen and Scott. Sadly, their first daughter Carol and twin brother Stephen did not survive.
Mary Ellen was both a Cub Scout and Girl Scout Den Mother, and also worked for several years on the Guilford Summer Program.
By 1970, Mary Ellen and Ray were the parents of four growing children, one with special needs. Each challenge they faced was met and conquered with perseverance, determination and love. She even took Braille Certification lessons, and became at that time only the second mother in New York State to have her Braille Certification.