Ellene Marie Munger (1925 - 2014)

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Ellene Marie Munger

Ellene Marie Munger passed away Monday, July 14, 2014. She was at peace, surrounded by her family and close friends, at home with her beloved oak trees in close view. Ellene was born Feb. 4, 1925 in Gravette, AR, and at 89, traveled to a better place.

She lived on the family homestead in Shurbert, NE for her younger years until the family moved to Chualar in 1936. She attended high school in Gonzales and, as so many of her generation, worked those years in many different jobs in the local ag industry. Early years of apricot pitting, transplanting in the fields, and topping onions helped instill the strong work ethic that she carried throughout her life.

With the advent of World War II, she did her patriotic duty and attended the USO dances, where she met the young Ohio private Bud Munger, who was stationed at Fort Ord. His jitterbugging stole her heart and their war time courtship ending in marriage. In 1955, they found the right location to build their home. Together, they cleared the land and built the house themselves. Ellene nailed subflooring, toted lumber, lifted her half of the mantel piece, and set shingles. Their family home was built with love and has remained the center of family life.

Ellene was employed as an accountant until well into her 70s. She worked for many early produce companies such as Louis Tervin Company and Salinas Strawberries. Among her duties was working with the Mexican Consulate and the Bracero Program. Later years found her at Louis Frizzel, CPA and finally at Escamilla and Sons.

She loved 'grubbing' in her garden and nurturing her apple trees. The apple crop was always made into her famous and favorite apple pies. She was also known for Christmas Caramels, making 40 to 50 pounds each year to share. Ellene was a member of St. Joseph's Parish and Buena Vista Grange.

Family and friends were most important to her. Children, nieces and nephews, relatives, friends and neighbors all found a place to relax and hear her stories, of which there was an unending supply.

Ellene fought a strong fight, battling more illnesses than anyone deserved. The last battle lasted more than a year and took its toll. She fought to the last breath, finally reaching for the everlasting arms.

Waiting to welcome her home are: her parents, Arthur and Hazel Bright; her soldier, William "Bud" Munger; brother, Max L. Bright; sister, Constance Rodaway; and nephew, Ed Munger.

Left behind with an empty place are: son, Bill Munger (Jane) of King City; daughter, Connie Quinlan of Salinas; sister-in-law, Larean Bright of Salinas; grandchildren, Aaron (Judy) Munger of Rolling Hills, Sarah Munger of Pasadena, Katy Blowers (James) of Salinas, Jess Quinlan (Vanessa) of Hollister, Joe Quinlan of Salinas; great-grandsons, Lucas, Blake, Rhett, and William; and nieces, Peggy Goldman of Salinas and Barbara (Jack) Bryan of Salinas.

A Memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis St., Salinas, CA 93901.

Interment will be with generations of her family at Prairie Union Cemetery, Shubert, NE.

Suggested memorial donations designees: Prairie Union Church, c/o Randy Bright, 20705 S. 25th St., Hickman, NE 68372; Sacred Heart School, 123 West Market St., Salinas; Palma High School Scholarship Fund, 919 Iverson St., Salinas; or the donor's favorite charity.

Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home.

For more information and to share a memory, visit www.struveandlaporte.com.

Funeral Home
Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 424-0311
Published in The Salinas Californian on July 17, 2014
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