Ethel Partridge was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on September 14, 1940, and was raised by her grandmother in rural Wyoming. She graduated from high school in Newcastle, Wyoming, and often made the trek cross country to visit her classmate for the reunions. She married Eldon Partridge on May 6, 1960. They lived in Rapid City, South Dakota, during the great flood before moving to Spencer, Iowa, in the early 1970's, where they raised their three sons: Roger, Allen, and Michael. Ethel worked as an Avon lady for many years, and also served with the ladies circle at the United Methodist Church in Spencer.
In 1987, Ethel survived extensive brain surgery to remove a benign tumor that was wrapped around her brain stem. Her recovery process required extraordinary adaptation, requiring her to relearn how to speak, write, walk, and eat. Many of her muscles would never recover completely, but she did not allow her limitations to keep her from doing what she wanted. In her older years, Ethel enjoyed shopping, making puzzles, handiwork, and scrapbooking. She also loved Caribbean cruises, even when she traveled alone.
Ethel moved to Holt, Michigan, in 2013, to live near her son, Michael and his family. In Michigan, Ethel enjoyed playing bridge at the senior center and going out for lunch with the "Lunch Bunch" at her church. In early 2016, Ethel made the difficult transition to assisted living, and in recent months endured two hospital stays. Ethel quickly declined following her final release from the hospital, and died peacefully in her sleep at her assisted living home. Ethel leaves behind her three sons: Roger, Allen, and Michael, as well as her three grandchildren: Lily, Emily, and Alden.