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Ellen VandenBrink

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Ellen VandenBrink Obituary
Sullivan, Il - Davis, CA Ellen Little VandenBrink passed away February 27, 2019, in the presence of her family who all loved her dearly. Ellen was born in Sullivan, Illinois, to Inis and Guy Little, Sr. The family was complete when her brother Guy Litter, Jr. (who preceded her in death) was born a few years later. She attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she earned a degree in Physical Education. Upon graduation, she taught English and P.E. at Sullivan High School, her alma mater. Her world changed while at the wedding of a dear friend in Sullivan, when she met the love of her life, Dale VandenBrink, MD. After marrying and starting their family in Sullivan, Dale's medical career took them to Los Angeles, where they lived happily together until Dale's death in July 2015, three months shy of their 60thwedding anniversary. Together with Dale, Ellen's greatest joy and accomplishment was her family – Mark (Melody), Eric (Janet), Kurt (Barbara) and Kris. She celebrated their happiness and success, and shared their heartbreak. She and Dale thought nothing of driving to Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, or Northern California well into their eighties to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Ellen adored her grandchildren, Brian Little VandenBrink (who preceded her in death), Melissa Reedy, Ashley Stinson, Jeffrey Probus, Jason Probus, Jessica Gill, Andrew VandenBrink and Ashleigh VandenBrink. During their years in Palos Verdes, their immediate family was made richer by a beloved group of friends that became family. Together they shared holidays, went on vacations, and grew their families. These life-long friendships were treasured by both Ellen and Dale. As an adult, Ellen's passion was Alpha Chi Omega, the sorority she had pledged in college. She was committed to the development of young women as she rose within the volunteer leadership of the organization through the years. In 1986 she was honored to be elected by the membership to serve as National President of the organization. She and Dale opened their home through the years to Alpha Chi Omega Field Consultants and other volunteer leaders from the organization. Through her work with the sorority, Ellen served as a role model and mentor to so many accomplished Alpha Chi Omega alumni across the United States. Her work with Alpha Chi Omega touched many lives and has had lasting impact. Once all her children had grown and left home, Ellen went back to college and earned a Master's degree in Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco. She put the degree to good use as she continued her volunteer work with Alpha Chi Omega until just a few years ago. The family would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the wonderful caregivers that became a part of our family: Mattie, Valerie, and Lisa. In memory of Ellen, contributions can be made to Alpha Chi Omega and DePauw University. Please sign the guestbook at dailybreeze.com/obits. WL00191400-image-1.jpg
Published in Daily Breeze on Mar. 5, 2019
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