Ellen was born in Ohio but the family moved to Maryland when she was four. She grew up in the town of Frederick, “dropped out” of high school and entered UC Berkeley at the age of 17. While enrolled at Berkeley she sang in the Treble Clef Society and Madrigal Group but otherwise stuck to her studies, and graduated with a B.A. in chemistry. She met her husband, a Vietnam war era veteran who was studying to be a child psychologist, while working on a masters in chemical physics at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

After her husband died in an accident, she raised her daughter as a single mom while going to school and working. She was awarded the Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Purdue University and has worked both as a project engineer and as a college instructor. She retired to New Mexico in 2004 and became active in the Democratic Party, serving as chair of the Democratic Party of Otero county 2007-2009. She currently serves on the DPNM Rules committee and is secretary of the South Sacramento Water Group. She has run for the HD 59 seat in 2006 and 2008, and intends to make a third run in 2010. This time her persistence may pay off.

Husband and wife
Kid brother and big sister
Mother and daughter