2015-08-20 / Obituaries

Ellen Louise Wackerman

Ellen Wackerman, 85, of Mariposa and Jackson, Wyo., passed away peacefully at home with family at her side on

August 5, 2015.

She was born to Alfred and Edna (Wickert) Heyne on October 13, 1929 in Pasadena, where the family lived until 1941 when her parents visited and fell in love with Mariposa. She was 12 when the family made their home on a 1,400- acre ranch that they named Spring Valley Ranch off of Colorado Road in Midpines.

Ellen attended Colorado School through the eighth grade and attended Mariposa County High School before marrying her soulmate, Herman Wackerman, after his return from the war in 1946. They raised three children on their ranch in Midpines, where she helped build not one, but two homes; their first home burnt to the ground. She also helped with all the chores that come with a self-sustaining ranch life as well as all aspects of the family’s logging business. After her husband fell gravely ill, she found herself having to sell the ranch to move into town to be closer to the hospital and doctors.

She worked as a waitress for a few years and eventually found herself working as a bookkeeper and office manager for Sierra National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest for more than 25 years. Her job found her on the front lines of many, many fires over her tenure, with one coming into camp and catching her tent on fire.

Ellen was fun-loving, adventurous, hard-working, kind, gentle, firm, young at heart and always there when you needed her. She loved her family more than anything. She enjoyed yard sales, all types of wildlife, sitting outside on the porch, riding in the jeep, watching her great-grandson play sports and watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday like clockwork.

She was blessed with three children, eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. After her husband passed in 2012, she lived full-time with her granddaughter and together they shared a special journey of numerous adventures and very special and fond memories that few grandmother/granddaughters have the opportunity to share. They had a remarkably close and very special relationship.

She is survived by her two brothers, Alvin and Bernie Heyne; children Don Wackerman of Wyoming, Dorothy (Pelk) Richards of Mariposa, and Ed (Lori) Wackerman of Midpines; grandchildren Tammi, Don Jr., Bernie, Daniel, Jeff and step-grandchild Julie; great-grandchildren Kaylee, Savanna, Tyler, Boden, Brianna, Blayke, Ally and Weston.

Ellen did not wish to have a service, she simply wanted to be reunited with her beloved husband whom she missed dearly. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people donate their time, money or resources to the John C. Fremont Hospital District and specifically, Mariposa Hospice and Ewing Wing Garden.

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