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Ellen Mayo Harbert

March 14, 2012

Ellen Mayo Harbert

Ellen M. Harbert, 70, a resident of Big Pine for 13 years, born in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, 1941, passed away peacefully at her home in Big Pine on March 8, 2012.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Marie Harbert of Encino; granddaughter, Melissa Harbert; brother, Edward Mayo of Houston, Texas; and niece, Nesta Mayo of New York City, N.Y.
She received her high school diploma at Catalina High School in Tucson, Ariz. in 1960; a Bachelor’s degree in History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in 1964; and two Masters’ degrees in History and in Social Work at Tulane University in New Orleans, La., in 1966 and 1970 respectively.
She was a professional social worker who loved helping people in her community.
Growing up in South America, Canada and the Eastern Sierra, she loved spending time in nature and adventuring around the world. With her family, she spent the summer of 1952 camping in Rock Creek.
In 1953 she lived on the Navajo Indian reservation in Coppermine, Ariz. Her numerous adventures included traveling to Africa with Martin Luther King Jr’s Crossroads Africa in 1962, and meeting President Kennedy when he met with the participants in the Crossroads Africa program, which he later used as a model for the Peace Corps. She traveled to India, to England with her granddaughter and to Japan with her daughter-in-law. She also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid for two years.
She had a passion for quilting, making quilts for many friends and family members.
She loved cooking and entertaining her family and many friends. She loved gardening, and she grew many of the vegetables and herbs she cooked with right in her back yard.
She also had a life-long love of music, singing in her church choir and playing the violin.
She is adored by her son Eric, and her granddaughter Melissa thinks she is the ultimate bad-ass who never gave up on her passion to live and to love.
A visitation will be from noon-2 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 13 at Brune Mortuary. A graveside service will be held  at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 14 at the Big Pine Cemetery in Big Pine and will be officiated by Barbara Crockett and Rev. Kathleen Puntar of the United Methodist Church of Bishop.
Her family would love to hear from her many friends. Her son can be reached by telephone at (310) 402-4513, or by e-mail at
Donations can be sent to Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance, 174 Iris St., Bishop, CA 93514.

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