Ellen Fleming Gibson

January 31, 2022

CHARLOTTE – Ellen Fleming Gibson, a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and mother-in-law, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 31, 2022 surrounded by her immediate family. She was born in Roanoke, Virginia on May 22, 1928, to Ellen “Nell” Hargadon Fleming and George William Fleming, Sr. Ellen was the youngest of her siblings, all of whom remained very close throughout their lives. She was proud of her Irish decent with her mother being from County Sligo.

In 1940, the Fleming family moved their business, Fleming Specialty Company, to Charlotte from Roanoke. Charlotte’s growth and central location allowed the company to focus on agricultural businesses in the Southeast. Working together as a family in the business gave the opportunity to be together on a regular basis throughout their childhood and adult lives.

Ellen was eleven years old when her family moved to Charlotte. She attended St. Andrew’s School in Roanoke, VA and O’Donahue School (St Patrick’s School) in her formative years. She graduated at the top of her class from Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, DC, and Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. Ellen often recalled happy, fun-filled memories and the lifelong friendships made while she was a student. Throughout her childhood, college, and beyond she was an accomplished horsewoman, artist, pianist, and golfer.

Martha Early Clark, lifelong friend and roommate at Hollins invited Ellen to the Cotton Carnival in Memphis, TN.   Martha arranged for Jack Gibson, to be her escort. Jack reluctantly agreed to the date with the “girl from North Carolina”.   When he saw Ellen, he said that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He proposed on their first date and pursued her for the next seven years. Jack was also known to show up unannounced (and uninvited) to visit Ellen with “some crazy, loud golf outfit and deep Southern drawl”. Ellen Fleming was not in a hurry to marry. She had a lot of life to live before settling down. However, she and Jack were married on September 29, 1962, rearing their two daughters together until Jack’s passing on January 17, 1987.

Ellen was a woman who was ahead of her time, not following the typical path of her peers. She moved to New York City to live and attend the Art Students’ League, where she focused on sculpture and drawing. She also continued doing some modeling in spite of her brothers’ teasing. She travelled the world extensively, seeing every country with the exception of a few. Ellen worked in the family company, and became the owner of Fleming Specialty Co when her mother was killed tragically in a car accident. When the family closed Fleming Specialty Co. in the early 1980’s, she joined her brother at Fleming Laboratories Inc. as Vice-President.

Ellen was always true to her beliefs and standards, never to be swayed to do something because it was “the norm”. You knew where you stood with “the Big E”. This was one of her golden traits. Her big smile and twinkling blue eyes were part of her charm. She never wavered, despite every challenge that she faced. “NEVER GIVE UP! “ “ONWARDS and UPWARDS!” were her life mantras. One doctor recently said, “Your mother is a wonderfully strong and stubborn woman.” Never were prouder or truer words said. Her work ethic in everything she did and dedication to her family was immeasurable, never self-serving.

Ellen was a member of the Friends of the Mint Museum, the Collectors Circle at the Mint Museum, The Guild of Charlotte Artists, Hollins College Alumnae Board, Friends of the Library at Queens University, and “WAGS” (her lifelong lunch group of 69 years!). She also served on various committees at St Patrick’s Cathedral and Charlotte County Day School. Ellen was a long-time member of Charlotte Country Club.

Ellen put her family above all else. She enjoyed quiet nights with her immediate family, but always loved being with her friends as well. This was especially true at the beach, Ellen’s happy place. Beginning at an early age, family time spent at their homes in Ocean Forest and Briarcliffe; golf at the Dunes Club and Pine Lakes CC, riding horses on the beach, and boating on the “BONEFISH” made for an idyllic growing up. In recent years, she enjoyed being at Litchfield Beach with her children and grandchildren. Ellen had a unique relationship with each of her family members. Hence every family member is feeling the loss profoundly.

Ellen is survived by her daughters, Ellen Gibson Moseley and her husband, Garrett and Melissa Gibson Estes and her husband, Bryan; her three grandchildren, Ellen Ambler and Margaret Moseley and John “Jack” Gibson Hawley Estes. She is also survived by her brother, George William Fleming, Jr.; her nieces, Helen “Honey” Adams Fleming, Ann Gordon Fleming Bourgeois (Jeb) and Joanie McDonald Fleming (Brent Skidmore) and nephew, George Fleming III (Caroline) and many great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, John “Jack” Charles Gibson, parents and brother, Hugh Patrick Fleming.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Ellen’s devoted caregivers, Vanessa Arnett, Clunie Kouassi, Eme Thalesse and Ilene Simmons. The care with which they provided Mrs. Gibson will always be remembered. Additional thanks go to Dr. Daniel Wise, Dr. Andrew Laster, Dr. Stuart Garner, Dr. Michael Leonard, our forever friend and guiding light and Dr. Warren Holshouser, friend, neighbor and “knight in shining armor”.   She was so blessed to have had all of you every step of the way.

Ellen was a strong woman on the outside, but had a deep rooted kindness about her on the inside.

She will be dearly missed.

A private family celebration will be held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered in memory of Ellen to UMAR, 5350 77 Center Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217 (umarinfo.com) or Atrium Health Foundation, Attn: Outpatient Rehabilitation, 208 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 (www.atriumhealthfoundation.org).

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Marye Pat Kelly

    Melissa and Ellen,
    So sorry for your loss. The obituary describes your mother perfectly. She was a good friend to my mother. They enjoyed talking about their Irish roots. I met Ellen when Kelly and Melissa were in grade school. She always had such a positive attitude and was fun to be around. She and Jack made a great team.
    I know you have a sad place in your heart but hope your many memories will be a blessing to you. Our prayers are with you.
    Marye Pat Kelly
    Kelly Philemon

  • Jeff Spray

    Ellen and Melissa. Your mother was a special lady. My prayers to both of your families in her remembrance.
    Jeff Spray
    Charlotte, NC

  • Paulette Beatty

    Have so many wonderful memories of this wonderful and strong
    Mother, Grandmother, and friend!
    Loved reading her wondrous obituary.
    Please, accept our deepest condolences.
    Paulette and Jim Beatty

  • John Hussey

    I had a warm place in my heart for cousin Ellen. She was always kind to me and I enjoyed her wit and sense of humor. She and brother George were the last of the family to make an effort to keep in touch with distant relatives and for that we are sincerely grateful. May she rest in the arms of our savior.

  • Carrie Robinson

    I am so very sorry for your loss. It was an honor and privilege of knowing Mrs. Gibson and getting to know you, Ellen Moseley. She was a strong lady and will be missed!!!

  • Linda Smith

    Ellen and Family Melissa and family, was so sad to hear of Ellen Sr.passing! I know you are broken hearted as you all were so close! My love and prayers go out to all of you!! Much love. Linda Smith