Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

March 2, 1949 Ė Sept. 24, 2010

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez died peacefully Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, at AngelsGrace Hospice at the age of 61, surrounded by her family.

Born on March 2, 1949, in Waukesha, to J. Russell and Jennie (Pugh) Morris, she graduated from Waukesha South High School and received a bachelorís degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. On March 9, 1985, at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Waukesha, she was united in marriage to Fred Gutierrez, with whom she remained to her final day.

Ellen fashioned a career around public service and community involvement.

Employment included being the first executive director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, district staff representative for former state Sen. Lynn Adelman, director for community relations and publications at Carroll University, substitute teacher at the Waukesha and New Berlin school districts and field researcher for the University of Chicago for the National Childrenís Study.

She had an abiding commitment to her community and served on the boards of Family Service of Waukesha County and Presbyterian Homes Foundation and was involved with the Girl Scouts and other nonprofit organizations. She helped found The Caring Place and the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha. She was elected to the Waukesha School Board and was the campaign manager for Steve Schmuki in his run for the 97th Assembly District. She volunteered for the Meals on Wheels program, and for several years ran the Future Problem Solvers program at Randall Elementary School. She was an elder at Southminster Presbyterian Church and was elected moderator of the presbytery for the Presbytery of Milwaukee. Recently, she had begun attending the Unitarian Universalist Church West, in part for its community involvement and attention to human rights.

Ellen delighted in children, and over the years became "mom" or "Auntie Ellen" to the many to whom she provided piano lessons, befriended or nurtured. Special interests included reading, the visual and performing arts, and travel. And she loved babies.

Above all, Ellen cherished her family, daughters Erica Leigh Holm and Adriana Elise Gutierrez, both of Chicago, son Martin Morris Gutierrez of Waukesha and husband Fred Gutierrez of Waukesha. She had great love for her two sisters, Janet (Frederick) Fosdal of Middleton and Marjorie Neuhoff of Austin, Texas. She was a special aunt to many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her former husband, Eric Holm of Waukesha, other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 4 p.m. at Randle-Dable Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. The Rev. Suzelle Lynch will preside over the service.

Memorial donations in Ellenís name may be made to Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI 53005-5219, or the nonprofit organization of choice.

For further information, please call Randle-Dable Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035, or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave an online tribute.