Ellen G. Lally

[ Age 73 ] News American reporter, caterer and volunteer

November 14, 2007

Ellen G. Lally, a former reporter who later became an Eastern Shore caterer, died of cancer Sunday at The Pines, an Easton hospice. She was 73.

She was born Ellen Gordon Needles in Baltimore and spent her early years in Buckingham Manor, a Charles Street apartment house.

During World War II, she moved with her family to Albany, Ga., where her father was serving in the Army.

After returning to Baltimore in 1947, she attended Garrison Forest School, and graduated in 1951 from the Emma Willard School, a Troy, N.Y., boarding school. She attended Briarcliffe College for two years, studying early childhood development.

She made her debut at the Bachelors Cotillon in 1952, and married William Rice Blalock two years later. They divorced in 1976.

During the 1970s, Mrs. Lally worked at the News American, where she wrote "The Inquiring Reporter," a weekly man-on-the-street feature, under the byline of "Tom Quest."

Mrs. Lally worked alongside News American photographer James A. Lally, who took photographs for her column.

They were married in 1979 and moved to St. Michaels. He died in 1995.

In 1983, Mrs. Lally established Ellen's Catering, and continued catering parties until this spring, when she retired because of failing health.

"She easily injected herself into the community. She loved volunteering and working on fundraisers for Easton Memorial Hospital and at the annual Waterfowl Festival," said a son, David E. Blalock of Baltimore.

She was an active communicant of Christ Episcopal Church in St. Michaels, where she helped organize its annual rummage sale, and served on other committees.

Mrs. Lally also was an avid bridge player.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at her church, 103 Willow St., St. Michaels.

Also surviving are two other sons, John O. Blalock of Bel Air and Alfred G. Blalock of Salisbury; two sisters, Augusta N. Field of Troy, N.Y., and Elliott N. Cox of Somers, N.Y.; and eight grandchildren. Another son, William Blalock, died in infancy.

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