Ellen Dahl

Obituary of Ellen Hartman Dahl

Ellen Hartman Dahl died in the hands of her family on November 24th, 2022 on Hilton Head Island, SC. She was 76. 


Ellen was born January 21st, 1946 in Freeport, IL to her parents Clarice and Glen “Olie” Hartman and grandparents Edith and Harry Bender. She graduated Freeport (IL) High School in 1964, and the University of Illinois in 1968 with a degree in literary classics and as member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She went on to obtain Masters Degrees in Library Sciences from the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama. 


She married Randall “Randy” Dahl in 1968 after meeting at the University of Illinois. Throughout their marriage she lived in Bloomington, IN, Amherst, MA, Lexington, KY, Tuscaloosa, AL, Stillwater, OK, Richmond, VA, and Al Ain UAE working in education as a teacher and librarian. In 2012 she retired on Hilton Head Island to enjoy the warm weather she so loved. 


Ellen was a dedicated wife, mother, friend and grandmother, always placing her loved ones above herself. She was such a great friend and a rock to so many.  She thought of her own friends, and also her children’s friends, as family.  She was an avid reader, becoming a member of a book club wherever they lived. The Dahl’s lived in 8 cities and visited 38 countries throughout the course of their marriage, where Ellen would make sure she always “Bloomed where she was planted”. 


In her retirement she was able to dedicate herself to her grandchildren as their loving Grammy. She was a caretaker for them as infants, loved reading and baking cookies with them, and going to all of their school and sports events. 


Ellen was a woman that enjoyed learning from others and was quick to make friends in every stop of their journey, especially her Bunco group from Lexington, KY that became lifelong friends. She had a feisty spirit and was unapologetically opinionated, always quick with a witty response using her dry and funny sense of humor. 


She spent her free time as a diehard Kentucky Wildcat fan, her memberships in the League of Women Voters of HHI & the Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry, and spreading her love of reading and learning. 


Ellen H. Dahl is survived by her husband, Randall W. Dahl of Hilton Head Island, SC; her daughter and son-in-law Amy and Chris Urban, grandchildren Hadley and Nate of Hilton Head Island, SC; son and daughter-in-law Andrew and Taryn Dahl of Louisville, KY; cousins and extended family across multiple states. 


Ellen will be mourned in private by family and friends. The family plans to hold a Celebration of Life at a future date, with details to be distributed once finalized. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local public and school libraries, the American Cancer Society, or seaturtlepatrolhhi.org.



A Memorial Tree was planted for Ellen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at The Island Funeral Home & Crematory
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