In Loving Memory
Kathleen Jane Ellis
January 5, 1948 – September 25, 2019
Kathleen passed away September 25, 2019 in her sleep, peacefully at home after a brief illness.
Born Jan 5, 1948 in San Francisco, Kathleen grew up and attended school in Redwood City, Ca. Following her parents divorce she moved to Eugene, Oregon with her mother and sister. She lived on her own while finishing her senior year of high school. After graduation she attended night school at the University of Oregon and worked days at the 1st National Bank (where she met Robert Ellis).
In 1969 she moved to Portland and took a job with the Bank of California. She was married to Robert on October 22, 1970.
The outdoors was her church and where she was happiest. This led to her taking landscape design classes at Portland Community College. In 1976 after completion of their two-year program she decided to quit the bank and become self-employed as a landscape designer. In 2002 she passed the rigorous exam to become a Registered Landscape Architect. She retired from the profession in 2016.
She loved to ski, especially at Mt. Bachelor, but also skied Mount Hood Meadows, Timberline, Shasta, Vail, Eldora and Heavenly Valley
Walks in natural settings like Forest Park or biking at Sunriver or on trails such as Banks to Vernonia, The Row River Trail in Cottage Grove and the Hiawatha Scenic Bike Trail in Idaho were among her favorite activities.
She really enjoyed white water rafting and made several trips down the Rogue River in “orange torpedoes”. Other raft trips included both the upper and lower Deschutes, the Klamath, a seven-day trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and the Pacuare River in Costa Rica.
Horseback riding was a joy to her starting with riding cowponies as a teenager on her grandfather’s ranch. Later she owned and showed a 16.2 hand tall Thoroughbred hunter jumper named Homer (paper lion). She continued to ride off and on using leased horses after selling Homer (which she said at the time was the hardest thing she had ever done).
Kathleen loved to travel and made several trips to Hawaii where Kauai was her favorite island. She made several wonderful visits to the Poipu beach area. Other experiences, some of which involved her sister Deborah and husband Mark included four trips to various parts of Mexico, 6 weeks in New Zealand during 2007, Costa Rica in 2008, 6 weeks in Australia during 2010 and last fall her dream trip of a lifetime which was 14 days on Safari in Kenya.
For the past seven years, Kathleen and her husband have spent several months of the winter in Florida visiting her sister and brother-in–law. Their time together included day sails and outings on their sailboat, an overnight stay in a houseboat in the everglades, kayaking the everglades and tours to the most southern part of the US in the Florida Keys.
During 1988 Kathleen and her husband joined the West Hills Racquet and Fitness Club where she enjoyed working out, yoga classes and of course tennis. She enjoyed playing on city league and USTA teams and four times was on teams that competed in the yearly NW sectional playoffs.
She was passionate about her 1979 Porsche 911SC that showed up on her 50th birthday. She was the proud second owner of a 19 year old car with only 30,000 miles on it that she affectionately called the “little guy”. Driving and showing the car gave her great joy. She entered it in concours and “show and shine” events which included a first place in class trophy from the Forest Grove Concours D’Elegance in 2002.
She enjoyed parade laps at Oregon Raceway park and Laguna Sega and took Driver Education classes at PIR (where she reached 115 MPH on the straightaway) and The Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington along with several sessions of Pittarossi skid pad courses.
She and her husband competed in autocross events and Time Speed Distance Rallies over several years. Her favorite TSD was the Monte Shelton NW Classic Rally which she competed in over eight years. That event allowed only cars that were 1980 or older to be entered.
Kathleen joined the Oregon Region Porsche club in 1999 and served on the Board of Directors of the club from 2004 through 2011 which included a two year term as president of the club.
She is survived by her soul mate, best friend and husband Robert Ellis, and sister Deborah Menagh (Mark) of Lighthouse Point, Florida.
She and her husband have been together and best friends for over 50 years. October 22 would have been the 49th anniversary of their wedding. They had so much hoped and expected to have a few more years of retirement together.
If desired contributions can be made in her memory to the Forest Park Conservancy, The Oregon Garden or the David Sheldrick Wildlife trust in Kenya.