Wertimer was born on Jan. 25, 1922 in Buffalo, N.Y. to John and Geraldine Walsh.
She graduated from the Buffalo Seminary in 1939, Northampton School for Girls in 1940 and Smith College in 1944. She received her law degree from the University of Buffalo in 1946 and was one of the few women admitted to the New York State Bar in 1947. She worked as an associate at a Buffalo law firm.
She moved to Clinton in 1952 with her husband, Sidney. She became active in the Hamilton College and contributed behind-the-scenes to major changes such as the addition of women to the Hamilton faculty and staff; the rise of Kirkland College, Hamilton’s all-female cohort; Kirkland’s merger with Hamilton and the college’s subsequent development as a coeducational institution. She was a mentor and role modelto generations of students, faculty and administrators – especially women – at the college.
She was also committed to the Greater Utica Community. She held many community service positions as a volunteer, board member and elected official. She worked as a law clerk, was named in 1981 as the Executive Director of Family Services of Greater Utica, and previously served as attorney for the Oneida County Department of Family Services. After retiring from Family Services in 1992, Ellie also served as Interim Director of the YWCA of Mohawk Valley (1994-95) and as the Interim Director of the United Way. She also was appointed to unexpired terms of several elective offices.
She is survived by her sons are Peter (Alicia); Stephen (Jane) and Thomas (Ravlene); daughter Sheila (Gary); 10 grandchildren; brother, Edward Walsh; and sisters, Geraldine Clauss and Sheila Parizeau.
She was predeceased by her husband, Sidney in 2005, her parents John and Geraldine Walsh of Buffalo, her older brother Jack Walsh and her sister Gertrude (“Googie”) Butler.