Alma Cecchini Ellis, passed away Sunday July 14 with her son and other members of her loving family by her side. She was 85. Alma was born on November 19, 1933, the daughter of Giobatta “Johnny” and Louise (Grappo) Cecchini. She was born and raised on the west side of Santa Cruz an area known at the time as “La Barranca” due to the number of Italian immigrant fisherman who settled in that area. Alma was very proud of her parents and of her Italian-American Heritage. She attended Bay View Elementary, Mission Hill Junior High and was a graduate of Santa Cruz High School, Class of 1952.
Following high school, Alma soon began working at Bank of America. There she met her husband to be, Phil Ellis. The couple had one son, Philip Ellis, Jr whom they both adored and who brought them much happiness. Her husband Phil passed away in 1998 after 41 years of marriage.
Alma was very active in the Italian Catholic Federation and the Sons of Italy, in which she was an officer in the ICF and club president for Sons of Italy. She was a tireless worker, and with the help of numerous others accomplished many successful events. She especially enjoyed working on the La Barranca Park project on Bay Street. Alma loved to dance, work in her garden and take walks on West Cliff Drive. She loved to cook and was known for her Foccacia Bread and yummie desserts. Alma enjoyed vacationing with her sister and brother in law, Anna and Joe Ghio and friends, Bob and Ann Zoccoli and Johnny and Kay Ghio. Everyone who knew Alma was touched by her kindness, sense of humor and boundless energy. She had a deep love for her family, her friends and neighbors.
She is survived by her devoted son, Philip L Ellis, Jr.; loving sister, Anna M. Ghio and her husband Delvio “Joe” Ghio; beloved niece, Andrea McClelland and her husband, Mike McClelland; beloved great nieces, Brittany Schofield and her husband Johnny Schofield and Ashley Locatelli and her partner, Daniel; four adored great grand nephews, Anthony, Braydon, Noland and Casey. She also leaves the son of her dearest friend, Marc Carniglia who she loved and thought of as family. She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Giobatta Cecchini and Louise Cecchini; loving and devoted husband, Philip L. Ellis, Sr.; loving and adored niece, LuAnn Locatelli and her dear friend of 72 years, Mary Carniglia.
Services will be held at the Shrine of St. Joseph’s – Guardian of the Redeemer (Oblates), 544 West Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA on Friday July 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm. Visitation will be held at the Shrine on Thursday July 18 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Friends are invited to attend. A private interment will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation and gratitude for the loving care provided Alma by her caregivers, Liezel, Vicky, Rosa and to Hospice of Santa Cruz especially Erika and Jeannette. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Dr, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.