Ella Emmaline Whitney peacefully passed away of natural causes, on the afternoon of February 27, 2013. She was in the company of loved ones, in Helena, Montana. Ella was 77 years of age.
Ella was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 10, 1935 to Blanche Josie Crane and Walter William Tittle. As a child Ella moved to San Diego, California, where she grew into womanhood with her mother and siblings. She recollected fond memories of youthful adventures with her dear friend Betty, laughing and carefree on beaches and boardwalks.
As a young woman she discovered a deep love of the arts, embracing such literary leaders as Scott Fitzgerald and Earnest Hemmingway, and appreciating masters of the arts like Degas, Renoir, and Van Gogh, to name a few. Savoring fifteen years of college courses, Ella discovered Literature and the Humanities, falling in love with the creative world of poetry, art, music and film.
In Ella's self-produced book, Candle Dancing, she writes, "I fell for it all. Language. Rhyme. Sound. Texture. Taste. The lift and fall of words; the sound they made.… But it was the writing, the process that had caught me. All the throw-away words didn't matter. There would be more. The spring which was tapped in those early days, all the times I found myself asleep on the keys of a Smith-Corona at three or four in the morning, were I think, ineluctable."
Her writing was wistful, dreamy, and imaginative. She was a poet, a dreamer, and romantic. She loved what was beautiful, and supported the arts. Ella's granddaughter has fond memories of late-night conversations, mulling over word choices for innumerable essays and creative writings. Ella's great love of the written word is carried forth to future generations.
Some creations she wrote under the sobriquet Tamrelin, after the names of her daughters: Tamara, Rebecca, Linda. A strong supporter of the arts, she attended gallery shows and invested in local San Diego artists Dana Hindson, Marietta Petrini and others. Ella adored dancing and loved to sing jazz and blues in her rich voice.
Ella strode in time to her own rhythm. She was unique, graceful, enchanting. A poet and a dreamer. She was beautiful. She loved and was loved by many. Ella shared what she had with those less fortunate, taking bags of groceries to families in need, and employing underprivileged youth in household chores and gardening. She donated to charitable causes, and for many years after the death of her second husband, she participated in the Kiwanis Roger Lorin Whitney Memorial Easter Egg Hunt.
Now she is free of pain. She is free to be the dream that has always filled her soul, and to roam, as the wild red roses that bloomed for years in her San Diego garden and the tall pink-petalled naked ladies that seem to jump up overnight, and the honey suckle that took over the covered patio in the warm sun. Ella is free to be.
Her beautiful soul and spirit is remembered by those who remain. She is survived by her children, Linda (Homer) Christopher, Rebecca (Steven) Wilke, and Tamara (Scott) Kottas; brother Leon Tittle; grandchildren John Reece, Michelle Gregoire, Ryan Wilke, Jared Wilke, Kyle Kottas, Kody Kottas, Kacey Kottas and Kameron Kottas; great-grandchildren Don Frisch and Corey Reece; brother-in-law William Morrisette; numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews; and friend and partner for seventeen years, Filemon Hernandez.
Ella is preceded in death by her spouses Roger Whitney and Thomas (Greg) Gregoire; father, Walter Tittle; mother, Blanche Crane; sisters, Cordelia (Johnny) Morrisette and Elizabeth Horner; brother-in-law, William Horner; and dear friends Elmer Piazza, Edith & Claude Waldorf, and Fred & Camille West.
Flowers and memorials may be sent to Greenwood Memorial, in San Diego, California, where funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 9th at 2 p.m. Condolences may be sent to the family or online at aswfuneralhome.com
where fond memories of Ella may be shared.
A special thank you to Sheri, Amy, all the staff at Aspen Gardens, and Hospice of St. Peter's Hospital for taking such wonderful care of our beloved. Her final days on this mortal plane were filled with tender love and kindness.