Ellen  Reed


Ellen Marie Kawana Reed, 63, died unexpectedly on Friday (May 17, 2019) in her home in Sharon.
Ellen was born Dec. 23, 1955, in Sharon General Hospital, the daughter of Margaret "Peggy" Fagan Kawana and Edward Eugene Kawana, both of Sharon.
Ellen graduated from Hickory High School in 1973 where she was a standout on the basketball team and an accomplished vocalist. She performed several chorus and leading roles for the Buhl Playhouse.
Ellen attended Westminster College as an elementary education major as well as graced the Beeghly Theater stage, acting leading lady parts in musicals as well as plays. After receiving her undergraduate degrees, she enrolled in the Penn State master's program in theater. Ellen remained a passionate, supportive fan of Joe Paterno and Penn State, rooting for her teams.
With a scarcity of available teaching jobs, Ellen worked in retail as a buyer of children's clothes for Strouss in Youngstown and starred in several shows at Youngstown Playhouse, including "Brigadoon," "She Loves Me," and "Once Upon a Mattress," just to name a few.
She moved on to work with the Farrell Community Theater where she met her future husband, Ronald Reed.
After marriage, Ellen performed with Easy Street Productions, became a buyer in the women's department and then the men's department, traveling to New York and Detroit for buying trips.
Once she became a mother to her daughter, Cassandra Marie Reed, she assumed a role at JC Penney's in the Shenango Valley Mall as a buyer and later an assistant store manager at Kaufmann's. She worked as a manager for Ellen's Clothing store in Sharon before accepting an elementary teaching position with the Sharon City Schools Case Avenue building.
She combined her passion for theater, children, and elementary education into a 30-year career, directing elementary and high school musicals, high school show choir, as well as her own elementary show choir, Broadway Kidz.
She loved her students and working with all levels of students. For a time she was a lead teacher and taught the district staff math strategies that she helped implement into their classrooms.
Unfortunately, due to several neck, back, knee, and disc surgeries, her movement was limited in the classroom and on stage, forcing her to take an early retirement.
Surviving are: her daughter, Cassandra Reed VanSickles and her husband, Nathan VanSickles; her beloved grandchildren, Lilly Reed, Liam and Lucy VanSickles; a brother, Charles Kawana; a sister Peggy and her husband, Jim Fitzpatrick; several nieces and nephews as well as grand-nieces and nephews; and former husband, Ronald Reed
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ellen's honor to either Case Avenue Emergency Fund; 36 Case Ave., Sharon PA or Easy Street Little Rascal Workshops; Box 524 Youngstown, Ohio 44501.

Ellen Marie Kawana, 63, of Sharon.
Calling hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday (5-21-19) in the JOHN FLYNN FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY INC. 2630 E. State St., Hermitage. Friends may sign the online guest book at www.flynnfuneralhome.com.
Funeral: 7 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home with Father Mark Hoffman of Notre Dame Church officiating.
Following the service cremation will take place.
Published on May 19, 2019
Send flowers
in memory of Ellen
See more

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on August 17, 2019.

Select an emblem

19 posts

Donna Casey
May 23, 2019
My deepest condolences. I worked with Ellen at Strouss and have many fond memories of her.
Erika Zappa
May 22, 2019
Ellen has the most uplifting way about her and her beautiful spirit was apparent inside and out. Happiness radiated from Ellen and she spread smiles wherever she would go...she will be greatly missed by so many. I will always remember my time spent with her teaching and how she made me laugh every single day I saw that gorgeous smile of hers!
Debbie Swiger Donella
May 22, 2019
I'm so very sorry to hear about Ellen passing. I enjoyed watching her perform for many years, she had such a wonderful voice. She will be missed
Lois S. and Richard L. Werner
May 22, 2019
Although we have not lived in Sharon for many years I do read the obituaries in the Herald. So sorry to learn of Ellen's passing. May fond memories help sustain her family during these difficult times.
Maureen Murray-Jaklic
May 21, 2019
I first met Ellen when I played for "Mame" at Farrell Community Theatre in the late '70s. I was just blown away by her talent!
Ironically years later, I worked with her granddaughter Lily in productions at Sharon High School. The circle of life ...
Anyway, Ellen was fabulous and certainly left us way too soon!
Joyce Golub Thomas
May 21, 2019
Cassie & family , My deepest sympathy to you & your family ! I have great memories of Ellen ! RIP 🙏she touched so many lives !!!
Lisa corini zaken
May 21, 2019
My deepest sympathy to the families. Special love to her sister, and my high school bestie, Peggy Kawana Fizpatrick.
Katie (Graham) Roberts
May 20, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She was one of my favorite teachers and I have many fond and fun memories of her! Prayers for her family at this difficult time.
Mary Ellen Fagan
May 20, 2019
My deepest sympathy for the loss of you mom and to all the family and friends! Heaven has gained another angel! May she RIP. Prayers and thoughts to all! 🙏🙏
Kimberly Sackett
May 20, 2019
I had the honor of having her as my 4th grade teacher. 26 years later I still remember so many memories of being her student. She is proof that first impressions last forever. She will be greatly missed my so many.
Elaina ruiz
May 20, 2019
Big part of my life as a child.. prayers also,send love to the family and friends...
Lauren (Djakovich) Paulauskas
May 20, 2019
Cassie and family,
My deepest sympathies for the loss of your mom. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.
Kim Gump
May 20, 2019
My sympathy to all. Ellen was amazing and will long be remembered by friends and students.
Grace Gilson
May 20, 2019
So sorry to hear of the passing of a dear friend and colleague. My prayers are with the family. I had the opportunity to work with Ellen at Case Avenue as a team teacher in 4th grade for many years. We also spent time together outside the classroom with our families. I will miss you And that beautiful voice. RIP
Karen Campman Emmett
May 20, 2019
How could I choose just one memory? Ellen was my friend, fellow singer and actress, ZTA sorority daughter and Titan Alum. I have many loving and fun memories. God rest your soul dear Ellen!
Shari Sacolick
May 20, 2019
May Ellen's memory be a blessing to all who knew and loved her
Dick Rubano
May 20, 2019
I was shocked to hear about the passing of Ellen! It was my honor and privilege to have worked with her for many years. She was the epitome of an outstanding educator. My son Nick was devastated upon hearing about her untimely death. He had the pleasure of having her as his fourth grade teacher and credits her with challenging him to be the best that he could be. Ellen was a rare talent and her wit and humor were legendary. May God grant the family peace and comfort during this difficult time. She willed be missed by all who loved her!
Robert Vargo
May 19, 2019
A unique talent with a huge heart and love of Theatre, Education, Family and everything she dedicated her time and energy to. Gone too soon. Loved by so many. Missed by all who knew and loved her.
Judy Workens
May 19, 2019
Ellen was a shining light that brightened everyone’s life. It was an honor to work with her as a colleague for many years. Prayers go out to her family and friends.