Mary Kay Ellis

Mary Kay Ellis

Mary Kay Ellis, 55, of Shelocta, passed away Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at her residence. She died unexpectedly following a brief illness.

She was born Mary Katherine Ondrik in Long Beach, Calif., and grew up in the Swissvale area of Pittsburgh. She graduated from Greater Works Academy and was a psychology student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. While a student at IUP she met her husband, Stephen Ellis. They were married at First Christian Church in Indiana and spent over 30 years together.

She was someone who never believed the adage that you shouldn’t talk to strangers. To her, strangers were friends she hadn’t met yet. She believed every person has worth and value and would spend as much time talking with someone she just met as she would with a friend of many years. Her Christian faith and passionate support of Democratic politics were a natural outgrowth of her concern for others.

Born with cerebral palsy and developing a brain tumor in her teens, she suffered from severe, intractable pain most of her life. But her suffering gave her great compassion for all who were hurting. She was inspired by the music of James Taylor, the paintings of Monet and loved reading, especially the works of Anne Lamott. Mary Kay’s love, faith and encouragement will remain in the hearts of all who knew her.

Mary Kay was the beloved wife of Stephen Ellis, of Shelocta, and cherished daughter of the late Robert Ondrik and the late Audrey (Hostetler) Ondrik, both of Pittsburgh. She was the niece of Linda Rupert, of Pittsburgh, and the late Rose Marie Ondrik, of Greensburg.

A memorial service will be scheduled when it is safe for her friends and family to gather and celebrate Mary Kay’s life. Online condolences may be posted at

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed …” — The Apostle Paul (Romans 8:18)