Elfrid “Ellie” (Gubler) Gioumousis was born on August 31, 1934 in Wisconsin to Hans Gubler and Paula Langjahr, who had immigrated to the United States from Switzerland. Her sister Ingeborg (Biby) was born four years later. The two girls grew up in Delavan and Lake Geneva where they enjoyed sailing on the lake.
She attended college at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she met her husband George Gioumousis. After he finished his graduate degree, they moved to California where they raised four children in the Bay Area.
Ellie returned to school many years later, pursuing her love of horticulture, among other subjects. She received her AA in Horticulture from Foothill College in Los Altos Hills.
Ellie was passionate about many things—California native plants, political change, natural foods, bicycling and swimming—and incorporated them into her life and the life of her family.
Ellie was a member of the Parks Commission in Palo Alto for two terms.
She was one of the founders of the California native plant garden at Foothill College, known as Native Hill, and led many volunteer work sessions there. She was a dedicated member of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and edited the group’s newsletter for several years.
With CNPS members, Ellie was successful in protecting Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve in San Mateo County. The park, with its rare serpentine grasslands, is a unique ecosystem and spectacularly beautiful.
Ellie was predeceased by her parents; her husband, George; her sister, Biby Casey; sisters in law, Theo Zalantis and GG Farber; nephew, Joseph Farber; and her beloved cat, Tiger. She is survived by her children, Peter, Martha (Hilary), Andrew, and Elizabeth (Henry); granddaughter, Allison; brothers in law, Dave Farber, George Zalantis, Ken Casey and Bob Smith; nephews, Brian Casey, Evan Casey and Manny Farber (Mei); nieces Kathy Zalantis (Josh), Helen Zalantis (James) and Carol Hagan; cousins, Trudi Howell and John Gubler; and many great nieces and nephews.
Ellie died on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, in California. She was buried at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve in Newfield, NY.
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