August 30, 1948 – April 5, 2018
MaryEllen Ledbetter, 69, of Solvang passed away on Thursday, April 5, 2018, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after a brief illness.
MaryEllen was born on August 30, 1948, in Ventura, California, to Jack Lee Larimore and Barbara Ellen Larimore (nee Boicourt). She graduated from Buena High School in 1966. MaryEllen had two children: Carey James Klatt of West Palm Bay, Florida, and Trisha Klatt-Garcia, of Solvang.
In 1979 MaryEllen met the love of her life, Don Dean Ledbetter, through mutual friends. The two quickly hit it off and after a whirl-wind romance married on October 13, 1979. During their 24 years together, MaryEllen and Don enjoyed life to the fullest and always made time for friends and family. They started DME Trucking in Santa Paula, which specialized in hauling heavy construction equipment.
In 1980, MaryEllen joined the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), a networking organization whose core purpose is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry.
MaryEllen served NAWIC in many capacities in the Ventura Chapter, culminating in serving as its National President in 1997-98. Among her many accomplishments is that in 1998 she headed an all-women delegation to China, the first and largest to do so.
In addition to raising her children, Don and MaryEllen had a big part in raising their granddaughter, Haley Sturm. They treasured each and every one of their grandchildren: Haley (Alex) of Fort Drum, New York; Ryely Eick of Denver, Colorado; Corey Klatt of Middleburg, Florida; Jack Klatt of West Palm Bay, Florida; and Maddy Garcia of Ventura.
Don Ledbetter preceded MaryEllen in death on November 8, 2003, forever changing life as she knew it. In 2010 MaryEllen rescued her beloved dog, Daisy, who was her furbaby and constant companion. In 2013, MaryEllen relocated to the Santa Ynez Valley.
In the past several years, MaryEllen enjoyed traveling, socializing, volunteering in Mrs. Enderle’s second grade class at Ballard School, and living life to the fullest. Specifically, MaryEllen enjoyed her annual Galapalooza trips around the country. She and Daisy also enjoyed traveling to Alaska and other locations with her dear friend, known to all as Daisy’s Driver. She also enjoyed watching NASCAR races and cheering Junior on.
Known for her personal style her, her fiery red hair, and her contagious laugh, she was a loving, compassionate, wise, and loyal person to everyone who came in contact with her. To know MaryEllen truly was to love her, and her passing leaves a space in the universe that will never be filled.
All of her friends and family should take comfort in that MaryEllen is looking down on them now in her pajamas, with a tiara on her head, confetti in her hair, and a cosmopolitan her hand, cheering them all to live life to the fullest.
Funeral services will be held at Charles Carroll Funeral Home in Ventura at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2018, with graveside services to follow. Her cherished colleagues at NAWIC will host a celebration of life, the details of which will be provided on Saturday.