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Charlotte Ellen

Counselor, writer, avid gardener

Charlotte Ellen, a longtime Claremont resident, died peacefully on September 21, 2013 at the age of 90.

She grew up in Santa Barbara, daughter of Harvey Holt, longtime principal of Santa Barbara High School, and Helen Holt. She graduated from college at Northwestern University in Illinois where she met and later married her spouse of nearly 60 years, Howard Clinebell.

While they raised three children, John, Donald and Susan, Ms. Ellen returned to school, earning a master’s degree in social work and a PhD in education. She then maintained a private counseling practice for more than 40 years. She and Mr. Clinebell lived in Claremont, California for more than 30 years before retiring to Santa Barbara.

She wrote books and articles and was active in a variety of volunteer activities. Her focus was defeating discrimination in its many forms, seeking social justice and advocating for the rights of women. Most recently she was for the last 10 years of her life a volunteer advocate, counselor and board member for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. She was known for the beautiful note cards she created by taking simple pictures of flowers and putting them on blank cards she made from colored paper.

Mrs. Ellen lived a long, glorious, productive life helping and bringing joy to others, according to her family. Though burdened by medical limitations in her later years, she astonished all who knew her by keeping on with her many activities despite those struggles.

Her belief in nature, the interconnectedness of life and the goddess religion supported her optimism and her belief that we can all make the world a better place through our efforts. She continued gardening, one of her greatest joys, till the end of her life.

Ms. Ellen is survived by her sisters, Dee and Lucy; by her three children, John Bell, Donald Clinebell and Susan Clinebell Wichers; by five grandchildren, Jamie, Andrew, Brennan, Tessa and Nevan, and by two great-grandchildren, Madisyn and Aubrey. She is also survived by extended family and a legion of friends and colleagues.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary. Ms. Ellen would want donations made to the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center in Santa Barbara, California.

 

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