Mollie Mae Ellison was born in Talladega, Alabama, to Lillie Belle Staples and Walter Ellison. She was an only child and her mom doted on her. Life in the 30’s was a struggle but Lillie Belle worked hard to provide Mollie with nice things. As a young girl Mollie enjoyed skating and playing the piano. When her step dad, William Butler, joined the family she even learned golf. Even though they were poor, Lillie valued education and sent Mollie to private schools - including Payne College in Birmingham, Alabama; Paine College in Augusta, Georgia; and nursing school at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mollie met Freddie Lee Badger in Anniston Alabama. Freddie’s Aunt Queen held a small going away party before he headed off to Japan to serve in the US Air Force. Mollie was one of the guests. Freddie invited her to see a movie that evening but Mollie said she already had a date. Freddie went to the movies and sat behind them! They wrote each other letters and were married on March 27, 1952, in Greenville, South Carolina. This union produced three fabulous children- Fred Jr., Valerie, and Patricia.
Over the next 10 years they lived in Alabama, Illinois, and Michigan.
In the 60’s the family headed off to Europe because Freddie was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Spangdahlem, Germany. Mollie loved living in Europe and over the next five years we visited every country in the region and Mollie made sure her children were exposed to many cultures. Mollie made many friends and continued those relationships when she returned to the states.
The family finally settled in Colorado and Mollie became serious about her education and teaching others. She attended Emily Griffith Opportunity, Metropolitan State, UNC, CU, and UCLA. In 1978 Mollie was inducted into Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society and received a Masters Degree in Multicultural Education from the University of Denver. She served on numerous Colorado state boards, and interacted personally with governors and state legislators. Mollie taught throughout Colorado and in North Carolina. She always went above and beyond the call of duty teaching rocketry, 4H-animal husbandry and gardening, cooking, chess, holding May Day parades, puppet shows and study sessions on the First Black Cowboys of the West. Students in her classes never wanted to leave and most of them returned regularly.
Mollie’s resume is FOUR PAGES long because she was always busy.
She was busy reading and learning, creating games, developing businesses and encouraging others do the same. She had a standard- and it was high. Even at 90 years old she was still trying to figure things out.
Mollie Mae Ellison Badger was a good wife and mother and human being. She cared about people and was generous with her time and money.
Mollie loved Jesus Christ, she loved her husband and children and especially her grandchildren. Mollie loved the western stock show and the county fair, she loved ice cream and coke. She loved surf and turf. She loved pianos and guitars. She loved music - especially classical. Her favorite colors were green and red. She loved working in the garden. She loved life. She will be missed.
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