November 19, 1935 - July 12, 2022
Ellen Mae Irwin was born on November 19th, 1935 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Ann and Harold Irwin. During her early childhood she lived with her beloved Granny, Sophia Harbetz, who emigrated from Warsaw, Poland. Living with her Granny was a very loving and happy time, which provided her a lifetime of wonderful memories. Ellen was so close to her Granny that her first language was Polish, which delayed her entrance to kindergarten. Both her parents served the war effort during WWII. Her mother worked in an aircraft factory and her father was a medic in the army and was wounded on D-day in France, after which he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Her baby brother Harold was born while she was a freshman in high school, meaning he really had two mothers. Ellen graduated high school in Philadelphia in 1954 with the music of Nat King Cole playing in the background. At the tender age of 16, while skating with her best friend, she met a Navy man named Charles M. Sinnott who was stationed in Philly and came from a small-town in Iowa. Three years later on a trip to California to meet Chuck's parents, her plane was struck by lightning, caught fire and crash-landed at an emergency airstrip in Gage, Oklahoma. Fortunately, everyone survived and upon Ellen's arrival the next day their photograph made the front page of the Los Angeles Times. During that visit they became engaged.
In 1955, they wed in Philadelphia. Soon after, they moved to California where they bought their first house in La Mirada and began their family. Their first child, Diane, was born in 1956; followed by Robert in 1959 and their youngest, Garth, was born in 1965. They were married for 43 years until the passing of Chuck in 1999. In addition to being a devoted wife and Mother, Ellen's passion to help others did not stop with her family. Throughout her life Ellen spent many years volunteering under several organizations such as St. Jude Hospital; Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital; Beatitudes of Our Lord Catholic Church and The La Mirada Theatre. Ellen took several courses that specialized in hospice, grief and bereavement in order to help others when they needed it most. She found a true calling serving families during some of the most difficult times in their lives, all while spreading her faith and compassion wherever she went. She left an imprint on the lives of everyone she touched, and she will be deeply missed by all. Ellen is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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