Ellie was our precious little six-year-old daughter who was killed in a tragic accident. This is a place to remember her sweet spirit and incredible story. Here we celebrate her life and the fond memories created with her. Thank you God for the gift of Ellie!



Ellie Ruth Nigro

02/15/05 – 01/20/12

Ellie Sings Firework!

Some background on this video. After Ellie died, we decided to download any videos on the camera to see if there was anything we might want to use for the memorial service. We were stunned to find a bunch of videos that Ellie had created all by herself. She left us many priceless gifts.

The Ambassador of Joy

by Marcia Hendershot (Ellie’s Best Friend and our neighbor)
Click here to View the eBook

Eulogy to Miss Ellie

by Marcia Hendershot (Ellie’s best friend and our neighbor)

Spunk. If I had to choose just one word to describe my little friend, that would be it. But, oh, so many other words come to mind. Like sweet. Kind-hearted. Little pistol. Talented. Super smart. A true friend.

I don’t think you know how many lives Miss Ellie touched within my family. I talked about her as if she were my own child—enough so that my sister and daughter cried when I told them Ellie had left us. Mind you: My sister was only around her for about 10 minutes, but, in my sister’s words, “Ellie charmed my socks off”.

Here are things I’ll always remember about my little buddy:

She was so shy when we first moved in. She would hide behind the bushes watching me do yard work, half hoping I would see her and half hoping, I think, that I WOULDN’T see her!

As time went on, but before she felt 100% comfortable around me, she would lurk in the bushes and sing to get my attention. Poor thing—I didn’t always have my hearing aid on, and there were days I think she just about burst her lungs trying to get my attention.

One day, after she warmed up to me, I taught her how to play Simon Says. She followed a command that Simon hadn’t given her. I responded, “Oh-oh. Simon didn’t tell you to do that.” She got tears in her eyes, and I felt HORRIBLE!

Of course there’s the famous, “Oh my gosh—a rat!” story the day we found the baby possum. Once she knew the little guy was a possum and not a rat, she was so eager to comply when I suggested we leave the little guy alone so his mamma could find him and cart him off to safety.

She was so STRONG! She assisted me in yard work, doing things most adults would shy away from. I’ll never forget the evening when John was at work and I needed to transfer a “small” tree from a large pot to an even larger one. That girl helped me lift the heavy little sucker into the new pot! Maybe I weakened the poor little girl’s heart from all the work I had her doing—carting mulch here and there, pulling bushes on tarps from one part of the yard to another, lifting watering cans that even I found hard to carry. She was a tough little cookie.

Speaking of tough: She wasn’t squeamish when it came to using her bare hands to help me toss worms into the compost pile. She was so compassionate toward those worms, making sure she placed them next to a kitchen scrap “so they’ll have something to eat”.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard her say, “I sure wish I could have a Hershey’s kiss”. Kristen: You said you thought Ellie knew the end was near, given all the cleaning/straightening she was doing around the house. You may recall I speculated that she may have had an ulterior motive, given that her birthday was coming up! But here’s another thought: If she thought her time on this earth was about over, she probably would have been wolfing down all the Hershey Kisses she could get her hands on, not cleaning her room!!!!

Last month we put Christmas music on and danced together. Todd: She showed me how you twirled her when you danced together, and just beamed when she told me about it.

Tyler and Jake: She so looked up to each of you. I’m sure she thought it was pretty cool to have older brothers. While doing yard work could hear your conversations with her while you played outside. I always marveled at how kind you were to include her in games you played with your friends.

I taught her the “See You Later, Alligator/After While, Crocodile” routine. It warmed the cockles of my heart when she would say that.

It mystifies me when children leave this earth before they’ve lived a full life. But here are two thoughts that have helped me accept Ellie’s death: My daughter Shana (who said she always felt Ellie was an extension of herself, knowing how much Ellie meant to me) said that given Ellie’s ease in interacting with older people, she felt that Ellie had an “old soul” that was ready to move on to another place. My sister said it another way: She wondered if Ellie had attained angelhood while on this planet, and was ready to move on. I buy that.

Ellie, if you’re listening: You touched my life so positively; I am so humbly honored to have been your best friend. See you later, Alligator.

Ellie Brushing Her Teeth!

This has to be the funniest of her videos. Thanks for the laugh, sweet little Ellie!

Ellie’s Joy

Ellie Smile_Page_1

Came across this photo that I’d never seen before. I’m blown away by the joy in Ellie’s face. Even more special that she is leaning on me in the picture.

Ellie’s Eyes
by G W (Bill) Marshall / January 21, 2013

I see Heaven’s wonder in her face,
And the love of God in her eyes,
That only visited this lowly place,
And then return above the skies.

Such understanding in a child,
And compassion only angels share,
Is best kept where it’s not defiled,
While angels watch her waiting there.

There is a promise of His reward,
For those who turn away from sin,
But a sinless child has His accord,
For salvation has e’er been within.

The beauty of Heaven’s nightly skies,
Where His endless worlds may rise,
Is like the depths of her curious eyes,
Where beyond her soul never dies.

Daddy’s Girl

October 2009 087

Ellie loved her Daddy! She would just beam with smiles whenever we went out somewhere together. I took her on many “dates” to Carrabbas (our favorite). We enjoyed several trips to Utah, bonding on the ski slopes. I remember her feeling hurt on Valentine’s Day that I didn’t give her a fancy piece of jewelry like Mommy. Her love just flowed out in so many wonderful ways.

The Power of a Hug

We received the message below and it touched our hearts deeply.


Dear Nigro Family,

As you know it has been a year since Ellie passed away and I just wanted to share with you and your family a personal memory that I have of Ellie. I’ve been thinking about sharing this with you for some time now, but it’s been difficult for me to put my memory into words. I work at a child care center where Ellie used to visit. I watched Ellie laugh and play so many times and every time I saw her, it just made my day. I was the one who got the privilege of getting to know her, and I got to know her pretty well. This memory is my last memory of her and I think about it all the time. January 18th, 2012, was the last time I saw Ellie.

That day for me was really bad. Any and everything that could go wrong did. I failed a quiz, was late for work, ran out of gas, broke my favorite pair of sunglasses, and the list goes on. Work was hectic that day. I remember one baby just screaming and causing my ever growing headache to get worse. Finally, Ellie came in with a smile as always and ran off to play with the other kids.

I joined them in a game that Ellie was making up and after a while I became distant. I suffer from depression and that night was hard on me and I was at my ropes end, just ready to break down and really hating life. Before I knew it Ellie was standing in front of me looking up at me. I looked down to her and when our eyes met she wrapped her arms around me and gave me the best hug that anyone could ever ask for. I asked her what the hug was for she simply said “just because” and ran off back to her friends and the game.

That one simple hug changed my outlook on the entire day, turning that horrible day into something good. That one hug put a smile on my face for days. The hug your daughter gave me that day changed my day so much that it kept me from self harming, which I’ve now given up, but at that time was at its worst.

I am so thankful that I got the privilege and honor to meet such an amazing little girl who was so full of love and joy. Ellie was an amazing young girl who is missed every day. I’m sorry for your loss. She is gone, but she will never be forgotten by the people whose lives she touched. Ellie holds a special place in my heart and always will.

Ellie’s Friend


Ellie’s hugs are one of the most prized memories we have, and something we miss every day. This message conveys how Ellie touched us and others with her love and amazing awareness of the people in her life. This memory is such a blessing to us and we want to thank Ellie’s friend for sharing.

Two Precious Gals


Ellie’s Memorial Service – Amazing Grace

Tyler (Ellie’s older brother) plays the violin and Ellie’s cello teacher, Nathan, play Amazing Grace.


Ellie’s Memorial Service – John Waller Sings “Heaven Just Got Better”

John Waller offered to sing at Ellie’s memorial service. He chose to sing “Heaven Just Got Better” which he wrote for his mother who passed away the year before.

Ellie met John at a Homeschool Band Christmas concert in early December about six weeks before her death. One of our friends, Shannon, was taking Ellie to the bathroom. They were talking and Ellie said “I sure wish I could have a CD of John Waller’s music”. Shannon couldn’t resist (who could), and they met John Waller and purchased his CD. Ellie always asked for his songs to be played in the car.


Ellie’s Memorial Service – Eulogy

My father, Bill Nigro, spoke at Ellie’s memorial service. Some funny stories and great pictures of who Ellie was.


Ellie’s Memorial Service – Slideshow

The best pictures of Ellie in a beautiful slideshow. She was such a happy child, full of joy!


Ellie and Maverick Show

Ellie introduces you to her dog, Maverick Wolf Nigro.


Ellie Showing You Around Her House

Ellie’s giving a tour of the house. She seemed to have so much fun doing this.


Ellie’s Last Sticky Note

Ellie was always watching people. One day, she noticed that I was leaving nice sticky notes around the house for Kristen. She informed me that “Daddy, where is my note?” So, began the sticky notes. I would write them and leave them where she would find them. It made her so happy that I always wrote her one (even if Kristen didn’t get one sometimes…) Well, she learned and wanted to give back…so she began to write notes and cards to just about everyone. She took it to a whole new level! Her nice words are on all the neighbors’ refrigerators and were delivered by her personally to her swim team coaches. She always had time to write a nice note to everyone. A couple days before she died, I came home for lunch. Just before I left, I was walking out of the garage to my car and I saw Ellie run across the driveway as fast as she could. She then darted around the back of the house. I walked up to the car and saw her last sticky note to me. It touched my heart and I put it over the tachometer, and that is where it was for the last few days I had with her. What a wonderful memory for me and I love you too, Ellie!


Ellie’s Christmas Present

Kristen saw this HUGE lollipop somewhere, and she knew that Ellie would absolutely be thrilled to find it on Christmas morning. Well, she was right!


Living Ellie’s Way!

Ellie’s father shares his story, which includes how Ellie impacted his life. You can read it here.

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