Mary Ellen Hilden Chabot, 77, a retired collectibles entrepreneur who also showered her family, friends and neighbors with her gourmet meals and dessert confections, died April 12 in Bonita Springs, FL after a sudden six-week fight against cholangiocarcinoma. In celebration of her life and to honor her memory, we are initiating a fund-raising campaign for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for this rare and aggressive cancer and to improving the quality of life for those affected.
Mary Ellen was born in Vallejo, CA on June 25, 1943, where her father worked in the shipyards, building submarines for the World War II fleet. She graduated from high school in Wabeno, WI in 1961 and from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1965, and worked as a social worker in Ontonagon, MI, where her parents, the late Arnold and Dolores Hilden, resided. It was there that she met and married Dan Chabot, a journalist who later joined the staff of The Milwaukee Journaland eventually became editor of its legendary Green Sheet section.
For many years Mary Ellen owned and operated a thriving collectibles and shop in Thiensville, a Milwaukee suburb. Starting with $200 in merchandise, she ran a mail order business out of her home for a time, a business called Beauchene's Limited Editions and Christmas Shop, which eventually expanded into retail space and grew into an enterprise exceeding $1 million in annual sales.
But she always claimed her greatest joy and biggest accomplishment was her family, and in creating a home filled with love, laughter, happiness and peace. She loved spending time with her family, doting on their accomplishments, rejoicing in the company of her grandchildren. She made pies and cakes with Carson and Easton, immersed herself in shopping trips with Lafayette and Troy, and admired the athletic skills of Noah and Wyatt.
She was a free spirit and a world traveler who cherished every trip, yet was always happy to return home to the Midwest small-town values of her childhood. One of her many friends described her as a constant ray of summer sunshine, brimming confidence and bright optimism.
If you wish to donate by phone, please call (888) 936-6731 and speak with Laurie Kikel. If you wish to donate by mail, send check to:
CCF – In honor of Mary Ellen Hilden Chabot
5526 West 13400 South, #510
Herriman, Utah 84096, USA