Mary Ellen Sartoris

Mary Ellen Sartoris, a strong social worker and faculty member in the School of Social Work for the last 15 years, died at her home after a brief fight with cancer on Friday, October 9.

Mary Ellen Sartoris

Mary Ellen's work in the field of social work was monumentally important, and she worked in mental health, child welfare, organizational development, and field education all before beginning her career at Western Michigan University.  And she continued to be involved in many aspects of our field, focusing her teaching and advising on individual and family practice, human trafficking, and field education, as well as serving as a board member for Sheldon House clubhouse.  She had the highest standards for advancing justice and practicing social work in a practical way that honored individuals, families, and organizations.  Her impact will be felt long into the future. 

Please join us as we mourn the loss of and celebrate the life of Mary Ellen Sartoris on the evening of:

Thursday, October 29 at 5:30

Thank you to Spectrum Health Hospice for their generous support in facilitating this virtual ceremony. 

Meeting ID: 920 0942 8777
Passcode: Ap8XSd

If you would like to share any words about Mary Ellen's impact on your life, favorite memories and/or photos to be included in the memorial, please send them to by October 26.

You can find her obituary here. Donations in her name can be made to the Sheldon House, 201 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (; Western Michigan University School of Social Work (; or Humane Society of Western Michigan (