2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Adams-Green Funeral Home
721 Elden St.
Herndon, Virginia, United States
Obituary of Ellen Beswick Steis
Ellen Beswick Steis, 79, the visionary founder of Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), a leading energy media company, passed away on the morning of Christmas Eve 2019 in her home in Sterling, VA, following an illness. She was born to the late Richard and Clara Beswick in Brooklyn, NY, on February 26, 1940. A professional journalist by trade, lead from the linotype and printers’ ink were in Ellen’s blood. Her great-grandparents ran a print shop and published the Fayette City Journal, a weekly Pennsylvania newspaper. Her great-grandmother, Mama Steinman, was still a working journalist at 82, and Ellen’s grandmother, Laura Steinman, became editor of the paper, and years later, became the first woman eligible to enter the printer’s guild retirement home in Colorado. Ellen’s mother, Clara, worked at the newspaper/print shop through high school and cashed in her life insurance policy to keep the paper going during the Depression. Ellen was what many people used to call a tomboy, an attractive and articulate tomboy, but definitely not a person to be pushed around. An astute leader with a brilliant mind and huge heart, the dogged journalist in 1981 eyed an opportunity as the nascent U.S. natural gas industry began to develop. She founded Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), and from her kitchen table in 1983 published the industry’s first U.S. natural gas price survey report. NGI went on to achieve benchmark status at several U.S. natural gas trading hubs. Since her visionary idea, NGI has grown to include a roster of news, pricing and data services for the Americas, Europe and Asia markets. NGI employees, who are treated like family, are mentored, bolstered and encouraged to live their best lives, to do their best work and to understand that family comes first, values instilled by Ellen. Before founding NGI, Ellen was an associate editor for London Oil Reports. She also formerly worked as a general and political reporter for United Press International, the Boston Herald and American Metal Markets. Ellen received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. She was a founding member of the Women’s Press Club in Washington, DC, and one of the first female members of the Washington Press Club. When notified of her passing, a number of energy industry peers referred to Ellen as a “pioneer,” a “good friend” and “strong competitor.” When not toiling away at the NGI office, where she worked as Editor and Publisher Emeritus into 2019, Ellen reveled in her garden. She loved butterflies, birds, dogs, and an occasional scotch. In recent years, as “Grandma” and “Momka,” her favorite activity was cheerleading for her five grandchildren at soccer games, violin, drum and dance recitals. Travel was a particular delight for Ellen. When she was 60, she and a girlfriend went on a trip to Patagonia where she met her 2nd husband, John Hill. Together, they traveled the globe, with Portugal a favorite destination in recent years. They shared two decades together, filled with love, shared interests, and enjoyment of home and family. Ellen is survived by husband John Hill, son Dexter Steis and wife Tatyana Steis, son Alexander Steis and wife Susan Steis, five grandchildren, brother Richard Beswick Jr. and wife Joan Beswick, nieces Bridget Beswick and Sheila Steis and nephews Aaron Beswick and Tim Steis. In lieu of flowers, the family’s wishes are for contributions to be made to Doctors Without Borders in Ellen’s name.