It is with deepest regret that we announce the recent passing of one of our most dedicated workers and team member. On the morning of Sunday, June 28 at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Beverly Ellis peacefully passed away, after a long illness, at the age of 54.
“Aunt Bev,” as she was affectionately called by the youth she served and guided, enjoyed a lengthy career with Aon Insurance Corporation in Baltimore. She also worked for a time at the Baltimore City Bureau of Parks and Recreation’s Webster-Kendricks Recreation Center. She then transferred to the Youth and Adults Sports Program as a Gym Leader, managing youth and adult basketball leagues, tournaments and clinics.
Beverly was an outstanding Maryland AAU Volunteer for over 16 years, having served as an AAU Sports Commissioner for the Boys Basketball Program, and she was also a valued team member on our Annual Banquet Committee. “Beverly never hesitated to serve and was happy to do so,” said Antoinette DuBose, Maryland District 2nd Lieutenant Governor. “She was a true trooper.”
Well known for her quiet, unassuming demeanor, Beverly also developed a fierce reputation among AAU Basketball Coaches for demanding accuracy and timeliness in all required AAU paperwork, and for her determined, remarkable ability to run smooth, orderly tournaments in any gymnasium she was assigned.
Aunt Bev loved children and was their tireless, passionate advocate. She unselfishly and generously gave her money, resources and time, and one could always count on Beverly to contribute to fund-raisers, school trips or any positive activities that would benefit her kids. She placed as much emphasis on excellence and achievement in school and community as she did on sports, and approached her children as a leader, a mentor, counselor, guide and trusted friend. Beverly took a personal interest in helping as many of the children she encountered along her journey as she could; always there to follow up on homework, check report cards and inquire about conditions at home. She cared and looked out for everyone. Many of these children, now adults, consider themselves fortunate for those encounters and appreciate the impact she had on their lives.
Each year the Aon Insurance Company sponsored a “Friends & Family Day” trip to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania. Beverly always arranged space for at least 10 -15 local children to accompany her as part of her “Family.” This was a highly-anticipated event for years, the children loved it and a great time was had by all.
Those who knew Beverly might describe her as quiet, enthusiastic but tough; kind, generous, supportive and loving, but disciplined. She demanded and encouraged excellence from everyone. Add to this mix her wonderful smile, an almost-constant twinkle in her eye and her terrific sense of humor and you realize she was special and truly one of a kind. "Beverly was such a friend so true. I'll treasure our past with memories that will last forever," said Joyce Venable, long-time friend and fellow AAU Sports Commissioner.
When beset with illness, her faith, strength and her competitive spirit helped her fight for a life as close to normal as possible. “Not only was Beverly one of our longest serving volunteers, she was family,” said Basketball Sports Director and Maryland District Governor Benjamin DuBose. “There will always be a special place in the hearts and minds of AAU Staff for this courageous woman who failed to shrink from the challenges of her illness and continued to serve the youth of Maryland. She will be terribly missed.”
Kind, quiet, unselfish, motivating, inspirational, disciplined, funny - and unstoppable when it came to her faith, her gym and her kids. Governor DuBose is right, we will miss our gentle warrior…