OBITUARY

Ellen Lena Mascaro

August 12, 1927October 5, 2018
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Ellen Lena Mascaro was born on August 12, 1927 and passed away on October 5, 2018

Services

  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 1, 2018
  • Graveside Service following the Funeral Services Thursday, November 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

Ellen Lena Mascaro

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John Mascaro

October 21, 2018

Aunty Ellen was always a part of our family gatherings and family excursions. This was a family trip into Mexico in 1982. I will miss the many conversations and connections I had with Aunty Ellen. I am finding it hard to realize that she has transitioned on from this earthly plane. She will be missed. I will always hold you deep within my heart.

Claudia Walsworth

October 19, 2018

This is a picture of our Aunt Ellen taken with me in Sun Valley, Idaho. Memories are precious! Keep them close to your heart and never forget. Love you and may you rest in peace.

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FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Ellen Lena Mascaro

Born: August 12, 1927 in South Gate, CA

Parents: Giovanni (John) Mascaro and Nicolina (Lena) Kosec, who were Italian Immigrants.

Siblings: Theresa Rose Mascaro (1925-1978), Jennie Elizabeth Mascaro (1928- 1987), and John Mascaro Jr. (1932)

Age: 91

Passed Away: October 5, 2018 at the Dove House in Whittier, CA

Of: respiratory failure with underlying pneumonia and Alzheimer’s Dementia

Length of Residence in: Lakewood Gardens in Downey, CA (2017-2018) and South Gate, CA (1927-2016)

Employed: Business Owner at Merle Norman Cosmetics in South Gate, CA; Dental Assistant for Dr. Schechter in South Gate, CA. and flower shop manager at Lena’s Flowers in South Gate, CA.

Member of Church: St. Raymond’s Catholic Church in Downey, CA and St. Emydius in Lynwood, CA.

Organization Memberships: Tweedy Mile Association and the South Gate Historical Society and Museum (South Gate Civic Center Museum)

Funeral Service: Thursday, 11/01/2018 at 10: 00 AM in the Miller Mies Mortuary Chapel Downey, CA.

Burial: Thursday, 11/01/2018 at 11:30 AM at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA (directions provided at service)

Ellen is survived by: her only brother John Mascaro (86/Wife Patricia), her only niece Claudia Walsworth (66/husband Rick), and six nephews Stephan John Mascaro (63/Wife Betty), James Lee Taylor (62/Wife Ginger), David William Mascaro (62/Wife Rosa) , Michael Wayne Mascaro (59/Wife Vicki), John Anthony Mascaro (57/Husband Andy), and Patrick Joseph Mascaro (56/Husband Sergio). Ellen never had children but she had a big extended family including many grand nieces and nephews: Wesley James Walsworth (39), Christine Marie Campbell (35/Husband Sean), David Joseph Mascaro (33), Stephen Tyler Mascaro (31/Wife Lauren), Cristina Laurel Walsworth (30), Sarah Elizabeth Nelson (30/Husband Dan), Sean Anthony Mascaro (26), Nicole Amber Mascaro (24), Jeremy Parrish Taylor (19), Bridget Rose Taylor (17), Adam Joseph Mascaro (9), Alyssa Cheree Mascaro (7), Ally Kat Campbell (3), Sage Avela Nelson (3) and Hadley Regen Nelson (1).

Life Notes:
Ellen was a life-long resident of South Gate. She died peacefully from respiratory failure on Friday October 5, 2018 at the age of 91 with her nephew David Mascaro by her side.

Ellen was a proud Italian-American who grew up in a large family with strong cultural values. Her parents, Giovanni (John) Mascaro and Nicolina Kosec (Lena Mascaro) were immigrants who traveled by ship to Ellis Island from Italy with their respective families. John arrived in 1904 at the age of 9 with his parents Thomas Mascaro and Thressia (Theresa/Theresia) Scorpino plus five siblings. Lena arrived in 1923 at the age of 16 with her uncle Francesco D’Este and Aunt Elisabetta D’Este from Italy/Austria/Hungary in what is now Croatia. Previous to coming to America, Lena was living with her mother Julia Scrobagna in Fiume also known as Rijeka. After her mother died in 1911 when she was only 5, her paternal grandmother Marianna Mocnick raised her. When Lena came to this country, she left behind her only brother Francesco Kosec. Her father Giuseppe (Joseph) Kosec came to America before she was born. Joseph married a woman named Rosia Scorpino (Rosie) who was the maternal aunt of John Mascaro (Ellen’s father). The two families merged into one large family (Mascaros, Scorpinos and Kosecs) in Chicago and some eventually relocated in Southern California.

After living with extended family members in Illinois, John and Lena moved to Los Angeles and married on May 13, 1924.They settled in South Gate, specifically in Tract 522 of the South Gate San Antonio Judicial Township. As part of the growing population of South Gate, the Mascaros first lived on San Juan Avenue during the mid-1920’s and 30’s, San Antonio Avenue in the 1940’s and Virginia Avenue in the 1950’s. Ellen was birthed at home on San Juan Ave as were her two sisters Theresa and Jennie. Her only brother John was born in a hospital in Los Angeles. Ellen and her siblings attended grade school at what is known as the State Street School, a historical landmark in South Gate and South Gate High School. During the late 1950’s -1960’s the family moved to a home on Alexander Street and built a brand new house next door on Michigan Avenue where Ellen lived until December 2016 when a fall forced her to retire and move into assisted living.

Ellen loved her parents deeply and missed them very much after their passing. Her father owned a nursery and became a foreman with the City and planted most of the trees at the South Gate Park. After he passed in 1959, the City created the Mascaro Rose Garden in his honor. Ellen was especially proud of him and would go to the garden often to pray and think. The love of plants extended to Ellen’s mother who opened Lena’s Flowers on Tweedy Boulevard during the 1930’s. Lena supported the family too and Ellen became the manager of the flower shop after graduating high school. Ellen was very close to her mother and spent her entire life living with her up until Lena’s death in 1999. Ellen was also a caregiver to both Lena and her invalid sister Jennie. Jennie, who was her younger sister had a rare degenerative neurological disease called Friedreich's ataxia and was confined to a wheel chair most of her life. Ellen was very close to her older sister Theresa and after she passed in 1978, she felt like she had lost her best friend. After her mom Lena passed in 1999, Ellen lived out her life focused on work, church, family and friends.

After leaving the family business, Ellen worked at Broadway department store in cosmetics and later became a dental assistant for the late Dr. Martin Schechter of Beverly Hills. Dr. Schechter had a very successful dental practice based in South Gate and while there, Ellen made lasting friendships. In 1977 Ellen graduated from the Merle Norman Cosmetic School and purchased a existing Merle Norman business on Tweedy Blvd. Ellen rented the building at that location for 10 years until the new store was built and opened in 1987. Ellen’s brother, John Mascaro helped Ellen and Lena through the planning and permit process along with constant supervision and all the electrical work for the construction of 3 new rental units at the old flower shop location. Ellen was very excited to open her new storefront location on Tweedy Boulevard exactly were Lena’s Flowers was located. At that time Ellen got very involved with the Tweedy Mile (Business) Association and was one of their first presidents. She loved being a part of the City and giving back. She participated in the Azalea Festival and Miss South Gate pageant often doing make up for the contestants and local teenagers. Ellen worked as a Merle Norman business owner for 39 years from 1977-2016.

Ellen had a strong faith and attended church on a regular basis even after her health declined. She used her walker from the parking lot to get to church and rarely missed a mass. In her earlier years she went to St. Emydius Catholic Church in Lynwood and later attended the St. Raymond’s Catholic Church in Downey. Ellen, Lena, and Theresa loved going to the St. Josephs Table at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

Ellen was very proud of her community and loved South Gate history (known in its early years as South Gate Gardens-Gateway to the Sea) and was always proud to showoff places like the historical museum and library. She talked often of what it was like before full scale development when there were fields, a wide river bed and many places to play. She was eager to talk about the Tweedy Family history, how Amelia Earhart learned to fly at an airstrip in South Gate, the childhood home on San Antonio Ave of Glenn Seaborg (now a historical landmark) and other notable people, places and events in the community.

For the past two years, Ellen lived at Lakewood Gardens in Downey a wonderful home for Alzheimer’s dementia patients. There she made friendships with staff and patrons very quickly and enjoyed the activities they had to offer. The family would like to thank Ellen’s good friends and neighbors for coming to her aid throughout the years. The family would also like to express their sincere gratitude to all of Ellen’s caregivers including the staff at Lakewood Gardens, the nurses and doctors at St. Francis Hospital in Lynwood, Kaiser Permanente in Downey, Beverly Community Hospital in Montebello and the Dove House in Whittier managed by the Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, we are requesting that donations be made for a memorial bench/plaque in Ellen Mascaro's honor to be placed at the South Gate Park's Mascaro Rose Garden. Contributions can be made to the Ellen Mascaro Living Trust in care of Claudia Walsworth at Post Office Box 517 in Shoshone, Idaho 83352. The checks should include a note "Ellen Mascaro Memorial." Everyone who contributes will receive a receipt, acknowledgement and periodical updates on the progress of the memorial to be installed in 2019.