Obit: Ellen Hutchinson Ellis

Ellen Hutchinson Ellis
Ellen Hutchinson Ellis

Ellen Hutchinson Ellis died peacefully on June 19.
She was born in Baltimore in July of 1918 to James Howard Hutchinson Sr. and Corabel Palmer Hutchinson.
She graduated from Scripps College with a B.A. in 1939 and later that year married Herbert Bailey Ellis. They moved to La Cañada in 1944. With the exception of two years in Georgia, they lived the rest of their lives in the La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena areas.
They had three children.
Ellen was definitely a people person (to use her own words) and applied these skills as a local volunteer community leader and a businesswoman.
Her volunteer efforts covered a wide variety of executive and policymaking positions over several decades. Among these, she was the first successful write-in candidate for the La Cañada school board in 1959. She was the first president of the La Cañada Unified School District board and served as a board member until 1967. In 1961, she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Women’s Division of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. She was selected as La Cañadan of the Year by the La Canada Kiwanis Club in 1962. Since then, she has served as president of the Assistance League of Flintridge, president of the Pasadena Child Guidance Clinic, president of the board of Westridge School and as a member of the Board of Trustees of Scripps College. She helped create Friends of the La Cañada Flintridge Library. She was a member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Commission, which accredited universities and colleges. Ellen was president of the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena and president of the Pasadena Opera Guild.
Starting in the 1970s, she was a partner with her husband and three other couples in local travel businesses: Plaza Travel of La Cañada, Orangewood Travel and Plaza Travel de las Puentes. Ellen liked to make her clients’ dream vacations come true as well as efficiently plan business trips. She traveled extensively and became knowledgeable in important travel facts for many destinations around the world. She was member of the Century Club, having traveled to more than 100 countries. This was invaluable as she worked with her clients.
Ellen and Herbert loved the mountains, especially the High Sierra, and explored many a road (paved or dirt) that led to who knows where.
She is survived by two of her children, John Ellis and Janet Calvo, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband and her daughter, Joan Browning.
Services were private.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena.

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