My Mother: Ellen Lanier Teague

As many know by now, my mom passed away yesterday (4.26.10) around 5:00pm. I want to do a quick write up of her life as tribute.

She was born in Raleigh, in 1954. Growing up during the integration of public schools, she accepted everyone. She was a track star, cheerleader, and prom queen. And she was wicked-smart. After getting accepted to UNC for business, she decided to finish up at NC State, getting two undergrad degrees. Not sure when, or how she met my father, but after only a few years of marriage, they divorced. She remarried my stepfather Ed, who loved her deeply. She worked decades at NC State in computer programming and student records. Our house, growing up, was literally 2 blocks from her office. She loved walking to work. Over time, she chose to deal with her troubles in isolation. But she still loved. She came to almost every game I played in high school. She attended my high school and college graduation with pride. She was ecstatic for Rachel and me when we won the ring. She loved the beach. When she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, she got her hair cut and dyed before starting chemo/radiation. In other words, bring it on. They gave her 6 months tops, and she gave them 2 years. When a tumor began growing in her brain, she battled on, getting more and more intense radiation. It grew over the midline of her brain and caused stroke-like symptoms. She was moved to a hospice for the last 4 days of her life. Though she could not talk, her eyes were alive and we learned to communicate through squeezing hands. Really sad. But she had family and friends constantly at her side, and died while holding my grandfather's hand.

She always told me a few things when I would go back and forth from her house to dad's:

"I love you very, very, very, very, much."
"Different people think different things."

She taught me how to see the good in others first. She taught me how to fight for what I knew was right. And she taught me the frailty of life. So raise a glass to the life of Ellen Teague sometime this week. We are especially thankful for our family and friends and their prayers during this time. We could not do it without you.


  1. Thanks for sharing about your mom! you guys will be in out prayers! love you both

  2. Hey Jon,
    Thanks for posting this...prayers for you and your family friend, Losing a mother is never easy...God gives grace...but it is never easy. May you find our Savior deeply faithful during this time.

  3. So sorry to hear about your loss. I will be praying for you & your family. - Heather (Corbin) Perry

  4. I met you and your Mother at your Aunt Susan's wedding a couple years ago and she was a lovely lady. I'm so sorry for your loss - May God give your family peace and comfort during this difficult time.

    Ashley Raines
    Blacksburg, VA

  5. Jon,
    We are so sorry to hear about your Mom. This is a beautiful tribute to her life. You and your family are in our prayers.
    Praying that you are trusting in Christ.

  6. praying for you during this time friend! your mother lives on in the lessons you've learned from her!


  7. Jon,
    I did a search on your Mom and found the news for the first time. She and I were very close for a period of time in college, I never forgot her, and we reconnected in 2005-06. First by e-mail, then I visited in June 2006 after a business appointment I had in RTP. I got to meet both Ed and Caroline. We then lost touch not long thereafter. I have a big stack of pictures on my desk at work, and in it there are three of her. I remember the time when she met your Dad. You are so right about how smart she was, how loving, how she was a fighter, and how she loved the beach. She spoke a great deal to me about you during our e-mail correspondence, Caroline also, who was very much into dance at the time. God Bless you all.
    Steve Pequigney