Ellen Amalia White
Ellen Amalia White, 96, died Nov. 22, 2011 in Rancho Mirage of natural causes. She was born at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles on March 17, 1915, to Herbert and Amalia (Mollie) Munz Clotts and grew up in Los Angeles and Chevy Chase, Md.
After graduating from Los Angeles City College, she married Charles Connor in 1937 and became a cattle rancher’s wife in Big Pine. There she reared her two children and was active in the community, serving as a Girl Scout leader, on the PTA and as a founding member of the local women’s charity group, the Gold Diggers.
An accomplished pianist and singer, Ellen performed at community events, sang in the choir and played the organ at the Community Methodist Church. The consummate homemaker, in 1957-58, she planned and oversaw extensive remodeling of the Connor family home, where Charlie had been born in 1914. After he died in 1969, Ellen met and, in 1970, married E. Rowland Major. They enjoyed 10 years together until his death.
Ellen had been spending winters in the Palm Springs area. There, in her eighties, she studied watercolor painting, and with characteristic enthusiasm and perfectionism, painted much-admired scenes of her beloved Big Pine and the Coachella Valley. It was in the desert that she met Albert Oleson. They were married, lived in Big Pine and Indio and traveled in the U.S., Western Europe and Russia.
After Al died, she became reacquainted with Glenn White, who had also lost his mate to illness. Ellen and Kay, Glenn’s first wife, were childhood friends and Ellen served as maid of honor in Kay and Glenn’s wedding. Ellen and Glenn married in June, 1998, and continued to live in Big Pine before moving to Sun City in Roseville, CA, then to Sunwest Village in Hemet. They settled in Rancho Mirage in 2006.
Ellen is survived by her husband, Glenn; son, Mike Connor and his wife, Katherine, of Penn Valley; her daughter, Molly Connor Martin and husband, George, of Palm Desert; stepson, Ed White and wife, Patti of Los Altos; stepdaughter, Valerie Petersen of Duncanville, Texas; four grandchildren, Casey Connor and wife, Marena, Steve Connor and wife, Susan, Tiffany Martin and Justin Martin and wife Pandara (Benz); two great-grandchildren, Daniel and Sarah Connor; her brother, Victor Clotts and his wife Shirleyne; her devoted niece, Jennifer Powell, and many friends – some of nearly three-quarters of a century.
A private memorial will be held in Palm Desert. At a later date, there will be a family memorial in Big Pine.