SOUTH PORTLAND - Ella A. McKeon, life-long resident of Portland and South Portland, died Monday, September 23, 2013, at the Cape Memory Care senior living facility in Cape Elizabeth, following an extended period of ill health. She had observed her ninety third birthday just one week earlier. Ella was born September 16, 1920 in Portland, a year after her parents, Bernard J. and Isabella A (Leonard) had moved there from Brooklyn, NY. She was the third child of what eventually would be nine siblings, and was a principal subject in the 2004 Portland history-based book, In the Streets Half Heard, authored by Ella's brother, Edward - a chronicle of that family's difficulties, survival and growth during the turbulent 1920-1945 eras in Portland of prejudice, depression and war. Never wed, Ella was always a family mainstay for her many brothers and sisters, especially during the tragic Great Depression' period, aiding her parents in holding the family together, and in later years choosing to remain with and care for her widowed mother until her death in 1967. Ella was always a hard worker, continuously employed since her teens, struggling as a welder at the South Portland shipyard during WWII, and later, working for many years in three Portland companies until each of them closed; the National Biscuit Company, the shoe factory in Libby Town, and the Burt Company, a Portland firm producing gambling chips for Las Vegas. Earlier in her life she had also been employed by the Maine General Hospital. And in all this while, she developed life-long self-reliance abilities, a strong back-up character, even a stern demeanor at times to go with her independent, tough and demanding attitudes. Following her retirement Ella was a Foster Grandparent with PROP for 18 years, originally in the pediatric' s ward at Maine Medical Center and then the Preble Learning Center Daycare. A devoted Catholic, she was a communicant of St. Dominic Church when she was young, later Sacred Heart Church, and finally for many years the Holy Cross Church in South Portland. She is survived by her two brothers, Joseph J. of Portland and Edward G. of Hampden, ME. She was pre-deceased by brothers Paul of Shirley Mills, ME, and Thomas A., Laguna Beach, CA. and sisters, Mary Limauro, West Haven, CT, Agnes Valeriani, South Portland, Theresa Manette, Portland, and Anna Tanous, East Millinocket. As "Aunt Ella, she also leaves behind a galaxy of twenty-four nieces and nephews in various states, and successful occupations, and so many great and great-great relations, she often would shake her head in disbelief. She has long and privately expressed her special appreciation and thanks to those younger people living close to her, such as the children of her brother, Joseph, and her late sister, Anna, who have kept in contact, visited and cared for her with their time and help during her elderly years. Visitation will be held 2-4 p.m., on Sunday, September 29 at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers will be recited at 8:15 a.m. on Monday at Conroy-Tully Crawford, followed by a 9:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Cross Church, Cottage Road, South Portland. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.Online condolences may be expressed below.