Ellen Garber was born in Philadelphia to Ben and Reba Fineman. She was an only child until almost 11 years later when her sister Sandy arrived.
In Philadelphia Ellen met Len, the love of her life, and they were married when she was 18 years old. While Len served in the Navy Ellen wanted to work, but she had two strikes against her. First, she was married and employers feared married women would quit to become mothers. Second, her husband was in the military which meant possible relocation. So Ellen told employers she was single and worked various jobs.
After Len's service in the Navy they moved to California, and Ellen's parents and young sister followed. The couple started their family and Ellen was a full-time mom to Ron and Jeff. She took the boys to sports, music lessons, scouting, Hebrew school, and she made their clothes. She didn't have any daughters but she was the mom who taught friends' daughters how to sew.
When the boys got older Ellen started working again, at first as a bookkeeper and later as a travel agent. She booked business travel for busy corporate executives before switching to leisure travel and specializing in cruises. About then Ellen and Len began taking many cruises, opening up a new phase of adventure that lasted into their later years.
Having lost Len three months earlier, Ellen died on March 26, 2022, perhaps from a broken heart. Ellen is survived by her sister Sandy, her sons Ron (Cathy) and Jeff (Randy), a granddaughter and three great grandchildren.