Ellen Kruger Radday died peacefully on July 3, 2016, in Arlington, VA. Ellen was born in 1937 to Carl and Vera (Sommers) Kruger of San Francisco, where she attended St. Cecilia’s School, Presentation High School, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Lone Mountain College. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she earned a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) at Catholic University, and worked in family counseling and adoptions at Catholic Charities; later in life she attended Washington Theological Union, completed Clinical Pastoral Education, and became certified as a chaplain.
In 1961, Ellen married the late Harold Franz Radday of Brooklyn. She accompanied him throughout his Foreign Service career, raising their three children in Kenya, Zanzibar, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Belgium, Malta and Germany, as well as Washington. She was active in embassy communities, volunteered in their children’s schools, served as the embassy’s Community Liaison Officer in Bonn, and was a longtime member of AAFSW. Upon return to Northern Virginia, she joined the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) and worked as a chaplain at Holy Cross Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Manor Care Nursing Home.
Inspired by a deep faith in God and a desire to serve, Ellen participated in faith-sharing groups (Cursillo, Partners, Intentional Eucharistic Communities/Communitas), and was an influential advocate for social justice and reform (Women’s Ordination Conference, FutureChurch, Call to Action, Voice of the Faithful/SNAP). She cherished the company of family and friends, and enjoyed reading, sewing, and games; she had a tender heart for animals and a special love for the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, where she vacationed as both a child and adult at Pinecrest Lake.
Ellen was preceded in death by her brother, Peter, and sister, Dolores (Rodriguez). She is survived by children Michael (Sherri), Elizabeth (Richard Starr), and Jeanne Marie (Sana Georges); grandchildren Nicholas, Victoria, Melissa, and Sophia; and beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews.