Many thanks to everyone who attended Ella's memorial service, or sent their condolences.
The program for the service is available here.
Here are the texts of (most of) the speaker's remarks:
Denise Brown, director of the Montclair High School Dance Company where Ella danced all through High School, dedicated this year's performance to Ella - see the dedication in the program.
The Macalester Theatre and Dance Department Spring Concert Program also dedicated the performance to Ella, and donated proceeds to her fund.
Judy and I have been close friends since college, so I count myself very lucky in that I've been around for Ella's entire life. One of my earliest memories of Ella is that she started trying to walk months younger than kids normally do, but she couldn't walk on her own for a long time. But, Ella being Ella, there was no convincing her to maybe keep crawling for a while, or use an infant walker. No, she had to do it her way. So for about 6 months, I remember Ella going full speed ahead in the playgrounds and on the sidewalks of Manhattan, with Judy hovering over her, holding her hands, until the day came that Ella could finally walk on her own.
To me that's Ella in a nutshell: in a hurry to learn something new, determined to do it her own way, reaching out to her family when she needed a hand, and willing to keep at it until she got where she wanted to be.
That's the piece of Ella that I'm going to keep with me, her determination and her strong spirit, and I hope you will too, especially the young people here: Ian, and Ian and Ella's wonderful cousins, and Ian and Ella's amazing friends. I know that being in your 20s, life already feels unpredictable enough, and that your career path and life path may seem unfathomable from where you are now. But I hope that Ella leaving us so soon won't make life seem even more precarious, and that you don't let it hold you back.
Instead, I hope that you'll follow Ella's example.
In the last few years, Ella just blossomed into who she was meant to be. She got an apartment that she loved with a roommate she loved, she had a job and an internship she loved, and she had friends she loved, and we were all so impressed with her. Looking back, I realize now that once little baby Ella took those first steps on her own, she never let anything stop her. And I hope, with Ella as inspiration, you never will either.