For a historic prospective consider the sinking of the Titanic happened almost three years after Wilma Ellington was born on September 8th 1910 and it would be after she was 10 years old that the NFL would be founded and she would be 57 by the time the Green Bay Packers defeated Kansas City in the first Super Bowl of 1967. And not until she was almost 50 would there even be a team known as the Denver Broncos. Now a passionate Bronco fan and after living with her son-in-law Dave and daughter Donna Schmidt in Soldotna for the last 30years Grandma Ellington, as she is fondly known to family and friends alike has amassed some impressive statistics herself. From her six children she has 26 grandchildren, 67 great children and 17 great great grandchildren for a total of 116 direct descendants. “I won’t worry about our family name dying out for quite awhile,” laughed Grandma Ellington at her 103rd Birthday Party surrounded by four of her kids who live on the Peninsula and too many grand kids and relatives to count.
Asked about her Broncos she quickly replied, “Those guys are going to do good this year! But, I don’t know for sure but I’m hoping they go all the way. I became a Denver fan in 1977 but they weren’t very good, nothing like they are now with Payton Manning. Their first game of the season was a good one with that guy dropping the ball just before getting across the line, I tell you he just laid there and I bet he cried I know I did I never hated anything like that in my life as seeing him drop that ball,” she said. Grandma Ellington use to live on a farm in Colorado and says she learned to love football and the Broncos from her son-in-law David who retired a few years ago from teaching music at Soldotna Middle School. “Back in Colorado where I use to live along came my son-in-law David and he was a mighty Bronco fan and of course it rubbed off on me as it did so many others,” she said. Grandma Ellington has been to two Bronco games one of which the team honored her by bringing her out to center field during halftime. “I haven’t been to a Super Bowl game yet but the Broncos have been champions twice and I’m thinking they may make it again this year,” she said. As the Schmidt home continued to overflow with family and well wishers at Grandma Ellington’s 103rd birthday party she pointed out that it was presence more than the presents that really matters, “It’s their presence that really matters and that’s for sure I just love it when they come to visit, and time will tell if I’m here at 104, I sure hope so.” And so do we Grandma! Happy 103 and Go Broncos! Win it for Grandma Ellington guys.