Karin R. Ellis, 91, of Hot Springs, Virginia passed away peacefully early Sunday morning, August 9, 2020 at her residence surrounded by her loved ones.

She was born July 18, 1929 in Hamburg, Germany, the daughter of the late Louis Clemens Manfred Roeder and Hedwig-Luise Von Estorff Roeder.

Mrs. Ellis immigrated to the United States in 1956 after she obtained her green card following the marriage to her first husband Carl W. Behrens.  She later obtained her US citizenship.

Mrs. Ellis was a businesswoman, a supporter of education and the arts and a lover of nature.  She was kind, generous, and gracious.

Mrs. Ellis was on the Board of Directors of the US Truck Company of Detroit, Michigan.

Mrs. Ellis was the Chair of the Finance Committee at Dabney Lancaster Community College. During her tenure on the Finance Committee she was instrumental in establishing the permanence of the endowment for the scholarship foundation.  She also supported specifically the students of Bath County with the T. Kenneth and Karin R. Ellis Scholarship at Dabney Lancaster Community College.  Possibly more significantly, she taught many individual children of Bath County how to read by volunteering at the Bath County Elementary School.  Karin Ellis was recognized by the Chancellor of the Commonwealth of Virginia with the Chancellor Award for Leadership in Philanthropy.

Mrs. Ellis also supported Art Education students at James Madison University and Medical students at the University of Virginia through separate scholarship funds.

Mrs. Ellis held Bath County dear to her heart and supported the Bath County Fire and Rescue Squad, the Boys Home of Covington, the Ruritan Club, and the Bath and Rockbridge regional Library with donations.  Her longtime support of both Garth Newel Music Center and the Bath County Arts Association began with her instrumental  friendship with Christine Kendall.

Most of all, Karin Ellis was a loving and supportive mother, a loving and gracious wife and partner, and cared about others and placed their needs above her own.  She also was an adventurous explorer of the world, fascinated by nature, wildlife and all of God’s creations.

She was married to the late Carl Wilhelm Behrens who preceded her in death on June 19, 1965. She later married Thomas Kenneth Ellis who also preceded her in death on June 24, 1992.  Karin Ellis was in a life partnership with Jay D. Kain, PhD.

She is survived by three children, Christine Worsham & husband Scott of Charlottesville, Virginia, Carl Behrens & wife Lila of Hot Springs, Virginia, Daphne Schalau, MD & husband Bob of Kingsport, Tennessee; two sisters, Maria-Luise Roeder Scheere of Luneburg, Germany and Gisela Roeder of Glashutten, Germany; her niece Henny Middleshulte of Arnsberg Neheim, Germany; and her Hungarian Kuvasz, Sirius of Stepping Stones, Hot Springs, Virginia.

In addition to her parents and husbands she was preceded in death by a brother, Manfred Roeder.

A private ceremony will be held at her residence with Reverend Robert Brodie & Reverend Betsy Lunz officiating. Anyone attending the service must wear a mask. Interment will be in Warm Springs Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jay Kain, PhD., Carl M. Behrens, Doug Hirsch, Pete Minetree, John Murray, Robert Plecker, Bill Wilson, and John Young.

The family wishes to show their tremendous appreciation to the Mountain Regional Hospice team who showed enormous compassion and gave exquisite and superb care to Karin Ellis over the last 11 days of her life.

Memorial contributions may be made to the T. Kenneth and Karin R. Ellis Dabney Lancaster Scholarship Fund.


  1. A sweet and wonderful lady!

  2. Our deepest sympathy

  3. Our deepest sympathy to the Family,


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