Ellen Cullen — 1920-2018

Ellen Cullen

Ellen Francis Laughlin Cullen passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 2, 2018.


Born Nov. 29, 1920, in San Francisco, she was forever grateful to the Sisters of St. Paul’s elementary and high school for guiding and educating her. She raised her family in South San Francisco and lived the last 40-plus years in South Lake Tahoe. 

Ellen recognized and acknowledged the good in all she met. She lived the Golden Rule every day of her life. Ellen truly believed God loved her and that she had a wonderful life. Truly no finer person ever walked this earth. 

Mom, grandma, great-grandma, we love you now and will love you forever. 

She was predeceased by her husband, James Cullen,  siblings Mortimer Laughlin, Anne Osterloh, Mary McClelland and Jack Laughlin (KIA WWII).

She is survived by her children, Gayle (Jim) Carpenter, Jack (Deanna) Cullen, Marilyn (Dan) Quinlan and “Cuz” (Shawn) Cullen; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life Mass will be said in her honor on May 23 at 2pm at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1041 Lyons Ave., South Lake Tahoe. Reception immediately following in Father Grace Hall located right next to the church.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to her parish, St. Theresa Catholic Church.

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    Comments (1)
    1. Jeralee Callian says - Posted: May 15, 2018

      Ellen was truly God’s example of how He wants all of us to treat others. She became my role model when I moved to Tahoe in 1995 and met her at St. Theresa’s. I had never met someone like her before who had such a zest for life and for reaching out with so much kindness and love to all she met. Her smile was contagious and so full of warmth and humor. I remember marveling at the energy she had and hoped I would have the same when I reached her age.

      It was a great honor to have her accept my request to be my sponsor when completing my confirmation at St. Ts. If there was ever a woman who walked the face of this earth who had such love, compassion, and genuine pureness of heart that I wanted to emulate, Ellen was this woman.

      For those who were not lucky enough to have met this incredibly sweet woman, you missed having a shining star in your life; for those who knew Ellen, you know exactly what I am talking about.

      Ellen, your infectious smile, laughter and joy of life will always be a part of my heart.

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