Georgia E. Ireland


Georgia Ellis Ireland, late of 190 South Road in Chilmark, passed away at the Elizabeth Residence in Bayside, Wisconsin, on February 28, 2010.

Georgia was born Georgia May Ellis in Melvin, Illinois, on June 24, 1918. Her mother was Georgia May (Boshell) Ellis, and her father, Oliver Ellis. Georgia graduated from Melvin High School and the University of Illinois.

After college, she worked as an interior decorator for Marshall Field & Co. in Chicago from 1940 to 1944, when she married Emory Ireland, who was then a Navy officer teaching at Abbot Hall in Chicago, and later became Chief Structural Engineer for Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation of Boston.

She is survived by two sons, Emory Ellis Ireland of Milwaukee, Wisc., and Oliver Ison Ireland of Alexandria, Va., and five grandchildren: Jonathan and Robert, sons of Emory Ireland, and Olivia, Genevieve, and Fiona, daughters of Oliver Ireland.

Georgia lived for many years in Wellesley, where she was very active in civic affairs. She served on the Board of Directors of the following civic organizations: Hardy School Parent Teachers Association, Friends of the Wellesley Free Library, Wellesley League of Women Voters, Wellesley Community Chest and Council, United Community Services of Greater Boston, and National Federation of Republic Women. She held office as Vice-President of the Wellesley Central Council of Parent Teacher Associations, President of the Wellesley Friendly Aid Society (dual purpose agency supplying social work and visiting nurse services to the town), President of the Wellesley Women’s Republican Club, President of the Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women, and Vice-Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee. She was elected to four three-year terms as a member of the Wellesley Town Meeting, three four-year terms as a member of the Wellesley Republican Town Committee, Delegate to the Massachusetts Republican Pre-primary convention twice, Delegate at Large to the Republican National Convention in 1964, and Alternate Delegate at Large to the Republican National Convention in 1960.

She is particularly remembered for her work as Regional Coordinator for the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, and as Administrative Assistant for Senator Edward Brooke, who was the first black senator since Reconstruction.

After her husband’s death, Georgia moved to Chilmark, built both a main house and a guesthouse at 190 South Road, and served as Executive Director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services until her retirement. She greatly admired Ed Brooke, Lena Horne, and Abraham Lincoln. She doted on her children and grandchildren, and loved the Vineyard, ballroom dancing, her discussion groups, and the New York Times crossword puzzle. She was still enjoying the Vineyard, and could be seen riding her lawn tractor, until a year before her death. She spent the last year of her life in the Elizabeth Residence in Wisconsin.

Georgia was an independent spirit with great energy and vitality. She was always willing to pitch in and had a great impact on everything she undertook.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Church in Vineyard Haven at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 7, with a reception to follow at 5 pm at 190 South Road in Chilmark.