September 15, 1941 - July 24, 2017
Ellen Ann Fernandes (Romberg) passed away July 24, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. Memorial service will be held at 2pm on August 19, 2017 at Aria Funeral Home 19310 Preston Road Dallas, Texas 75252.
Ellen was born September 15, 1941 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to Dr. Henry and Vivian Romberg, with her father Henry performing the delivery himself. The Romberg family included older siblings Daniel and Mary and younger brother Steven. After graduating from Oshkosh High School, Ellen attended the Univ. of Wisconsin and later completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Univ. of Texas-Dallas.
Ellen married and started her family in Madison, Wisconsin and then moved to Richardson, Texas in 1974. She devoted her life to raising two sons, Jeffrey and Scott, before beginning her career in the market research field. Her passion though was always her family, and she cherished her children and grandchildren.
Ellen loved music, especially jazz, and was a talented pianist. Live music concerts, big or small, were a favorite pastime for her. Ellen was also an avid nature lover, and frequently enjoyed the splendor of White Rock Lake in Dallas. She loved the ocean and its sweeping waves, towering mountain ranges, majestic giant redwood trees, and beautiful flowers of all kinds. Her favorite travel destination was Hawaii, where she visited multiple times with her family.
In 2001, Ellen lost her leg in a motorcycle accident, and turned the tragedy into a positive opportunity to help thousands of other amputees by tirelessly devoting her life to them through the Dallas Amputee Network (DAN). Ellen founded DAN in 2002 with only ~10 members, and as its director grew it into the largest and most successful amputee support group in the United States, touching countless lives along the way for 15 years.
Ellen is survived by her husband Jerry Fernandes; siblings Mary Yancy (Romberg) and Steven Romberg; son Scott Rickel and wife Robin; stepdaughters Ashley Delabano (Fernandes) and husband Anthony and Aaran Fernandes; and grandchildren Lauren, Hailey and Chelsea Rickel, Autumn and Anthony Delabano, and Malakai Ilole.
Ellen was preceded in death by her parents Dr. Henry and Vivian Romberg, brother Daniel Romberg, son Jeffrey Rickel, and first husband Walter Rickel.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Dallas Amputee Network, www.dallasamputeenetwork.org.