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Ellsworth C.
Machin III

December 3, 1947 – January 1, 2022

Ellsworth Machin Ellsworth Machin
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— William Bartlett
"In memory of a bright soul, extending our deepest sympathies to his family "

Obituary for Ellsworth C. Machin III

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Ellsworth C. Machin III of Bethlehem, PA passed away on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at Old Orchard (ProMedica Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation) at the age of 74. For 32 years he was the husband of Donna M. Machin, with whom he shared a daughter, Roberta M. Machin, and a stepson, Jesse P. Haines.

Born on December 3, 1947 at Haff Hospital in Northampton, PA to parents Ellsworth C. Machin, Jr. and Pauline M. Machin, Ellsy spent his first few years living in Allentown and attended Midway Manor Early Child Center for kindergarten and part of primary school. In 1954, the family purchased and moved into their beautiful home on Main Street in Bethlehem, where Ellsy’s grandparents on his father’s side, Helen and Ellsworth Machin Sr., also resided. Ellsy attended Nitschmann Middle School and Liberty High School, where he graduated in 1965.

When he was 8 years old, Ellsy became a Cub Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. From that moment on, his interest and involvement in Scouting only grew. He earned numerous merit badges throughout his early years before becoming an Eagle Scout in May of 1961. In 1963, he attended Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, the first of the three national BSA Scout reservations he would visit throughout his life. He also became a member of the Order of the Arrow in the same year.

One of Ellsy’s favorite places to visit with his parents, grandparents, cousins, and uncles was The Lodge, a family-owned property in Cresco, PA where the men hunted each winter. Although he was not personally interested in hunting, Ellsy would take pictures, shoot at targets, and ensure that there was plenty of hot coffee to go around. The family would also frequently spend time at the Lodge in the summer, playing games and enjoying the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Ellsy’s other favorite pastimes included collecting and building model train kits, learning about astronomy with his dad, and helping his grandmother on his mother’s side, Eva Nothstein (married to Robert Nothstein) to bake sticky buns and doughnuts. He was also a member of Asbury United Methodist Church throughout his life.

Ellsy and his father enjoyed spending time together at wrestling matches at Lehigh University, and it was assumed that after high school, he would study engineering like his father and grandfather before joining the family business: E.C. Machin, Inc., General Contractors. However, Ellsy did not express an interest in doing so. After being accepted to Lehigh, he took classes in astronomy, a major interest of his, before settling on earning a degree in sociology. In 1969, Ellsy graduated Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

After he graduated college, Ellsy spent one year working with at-risk youth down in Florida through an AmeriCorps program and even became scoutmaster of a Floridian Boy Scout troop during that time. He returned to the Lehigh Valley afterwards and worked for Spring Garden Children’s Center and Wiley House (now KidsPeace) as a house parent throughout the 70s. Ellsy’s time at Wiley House was challenging and really opened his eyes to the struggles faced by homeless and impoverished children in Allentown, which ended up being the catalyst that influenced his decision to open his own child care center in the 80s called “Ellsy’s Play Space.” Ellsy created enriching games and activities for the children at his daycare in the hopes that he could provide them with a safe and fun learning environment. During this time he met his future wife, Donna, who also owned a daycare at her home. The two married on November 10, 1989 and welcomed a baby girl, Roberta, in 1993.

After he got married, Ellsy began taking his family to Cape May, NJ each summer for a weeklong family vacation, a trip which was also enjoyed by his mother and father before their passing in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Around the same time, Ellsy, Donna, Jesse, and Roberta (after her birth) also began spending each Labor Day weekend at Bear Creek Camp in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a tradition Ellsy was able to take part in until 2019. During the 2000s, He and his wife took many trips (usually via cruise ship) to places such as Canada and the New England states, Hawaii, Alaska, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.

In the mid 90s, Ellsy began working as a mail clerk at Lafayette Ambassador Bank and, with the assistance of his father, oversaw the building of the family’s home in Nazareth, PA, which he moved into in 1995 with his wife, daughter, and stepson, Jesse P. Haines. In addition to collecting model trains, Ellsy began researching and cataloging his genealogy, which included learning about his ancestors who came to America on the Mayflower.

Ellsy once again became heavily involved in Boy Scouts during the 90s, reactivating his membership with the Order of the Arrow, helping his stepson, Jesse earn merit badges, becoming Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 318 in 1999, and even training to be a Girl Scout troop leader for his daughter’s Brownie troop in the same year. In 2001, he completed his Wood Badge ticket and over the next several years, earned numerous other awards in recognition of his accomplishments in Scouting and the OA, including the prestigious Silver Beaver Award in 2010. Ellsy was able to travel multiple times to attend the National Order of the Arrow Conference, held throughout the country, participate in multiple national Jamborees and local Jambos, visit the remaining two national BSA scout reservations (Sea Base and Northern Tier), and returned to Philmont Scout Ranch with his wife and daughter in 2004. In addition, Ellsy participated in the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) program for many years as both a Chaplain and Cook, often bringing his daughter along with him as he did for many weekend scouting trips.

The final three to four years of his life were spent struggling with numerous health issues that ultimately prevented him from participating in his favorite hobbies, family trips, and Scouting activities. Ellsworth’s unique sense of humor and his lifelong commitment to working with youth will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the scouting community.

Services: Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing on Saturday, Jan. 8th from 10:00-11:00 AM followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM all in the JAMES FUNERAL HOME, 527 Center St., Bethlehem. Burial will be private in Trachsville Cemetery (Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery) . More info at www.jamesuneralhome.org.

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Minsi Trails Council of the BSA, 991 Postal Rd, Allentown, PA 18109 would be appreciated.

Covid-19 Precautions: Out of concern for the safety of all, and due to the increase in COVID-19 Infections, masks are required in the funeral home. Thank you for your understanding.

Live-Streaming: The Funeral Service will be live-streamed. To watch the services, please click on the Photos and Videos Tab from the menu and then click on Webcasting. The Streaming will go live at approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the Service.

Visitation

When Saturday, January 8th, 2022 10:00am - 11:00am
Location
James Funeral Home & Cremation Service, PC
Address
527 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Location Information
Between Market and Broad Streets on Center Street.
Additional Information Covid-19 Precautions: Out of concern for the safety of all, and due to the increase in COVID-19 Infections, masks are required in the funeral home. Thank you for your understanding.

Service Information

When
Saturday, January 8th, 2022 11:00am
Location
James Funeral Home & Cremation Service, PC
Address
527 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Location Information
Between Market and Broad Streets on Center Street.
Service Extra Info
Live-Streaming: The Funeral Service will be live-streamed. To watch the services, please click on the Photos and Videos Tab from the menu and then click on Webcasting. The Streaming will go live at approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the Service.
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