Phone: (317) 925-3800(317) 925-3800
Mary Ellen Diaz
August 17, 1922 - June 09, 2017
In Loving Memory of Mary Ellen Diaz
94, passed away on June 9, 2017, at home, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her husband Frank, of 64 years; one son, Henry Bruce and two granddaughters, Anjie and Carys. She is preceded in death by son Craig Allen who passed away in 2009.
Mary Ellen was born on August 17, 1922 in Beatrice, Nebraska to Ellen Ann Fishbach and Oscar Herald Fishbach. In 1928 her family moved to Covina, California where Oscar started his business as an orange grower. At the age of fourteen, Mary Ellen delighted driving a truck full of smudge pots that were vital to keeping the oranges from freezing on below-freezing nights. In 1942, the family moved to Laguna Beach, California because her brother, Glen, had been stricken by polio and the California beach side weather was better for recovering from polio. Mary Ellen lived in Laguna Beach until she left home to attend Occidental College in 1944. After two years at Occidental, she transferred to the University of California at Berkeley. She graduated from UC in 1949.
Mary Ellen had a natural gift for teaching children in their early years. Her first assignment was at Richmond, California, where the students were children of parents who came to California to work in the World War II shipyards. In 1955, Mary Ellen became a stay-at-home mom caring for Bruce and Craig. In 1969, she took a volunteer job with the Norwalk, Connecticut School District. Within months, she accepted a job as a Corrective Reading Special Teacher. In this job, she worked with the children of recent immigrant Spanish-speaking families. To bring these children’s reading skills to grade level was her challenge and she did it well. After ten years, Mary Ellen retired.
While living in Connecticut, Mary Ellen made weekly visits to a Norwalk Nursing Home. She “adopted” a patient who needed a friend and companion. In Canada, she continued her Nursing Home volunteer work. Her most remembered patient was the surviving wife of the Bishop of the Arctic, whose diocese was the Northwest Territory. The crusty old lady was full of wonderful tales of life in the far North.
Mary Ellen became a member of the Daytona Women Garden Club. Since the family lived in a condo, she did not have a garden. Nevertheless, she loved sharing the beauty of flower arrangements. At the Annual Daytona Spring Flower and Garden Show, Mary Ellen and Frank spent the weekend manning the Club’s booth.
Mary Ellen was a member of Christ Church Cathedral. In the early years at Indianapolis, she always enjoyed the Annual Spring Luncheon and the activities of the Cathedral Church Women.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on July 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the Christ Church Cathedral Human Needs Ministry in memory of Mary Ellen Diaz.
Crown Hill Funeral Home is honored to have served the Diaz family.