Ellene Marie (Bright) Munger Obituary


Ellene Marie Munger passed away on Monday, July 14, 2014. She was at peace, surrounded by her family and close friends, at home with her beloved oak trees in close view. Ellene was born in Gravette, Arkansas, on February 4, 1925, and at 89 traveled to a better place.

Her younger years were on the family homestead in Shubert, Nebraska, until the family moved to Chualar in 1936. She attended high school in Gonzales and, as so many of her generation, worked those years in many different jobs in the local agriculture industry. Early years of apricot pitting, transplanting in the fields and topping onions helped instill the strong work ethic that she carried throughout her life.

With the advent of World War II, she did her patriotic duty and attended the USO dances, where she met the young Ohio Private Bud Munger, who was stationed at Fort Ord. His jitterbugging stole her heart, and their wartime courtship ended in marriage. In 1955, they found the right location to build their home. Together they cleared the land and built the house themselves. Ellene nailed subflooring, toted lumber, lifted her half of the mantel piece and set shingles. The home was built with love and has remained the center of family life.

Ellene was employed as an accountant until well into her 70s. She worked for many early produce companies such as Louis Tervin Company and Salinas Strawberries. Among her duties was working with the Mexican Consulate and the Bracero Program. Later years found her at Johnson’s Machine Shop, Louis Frizzel CPA, and finally at Escamilla and Sons.

She loved “grubbing” in her garden and nurturing her apple trees. The apple crop was always made into her famous and favorite apple pies. She was known for Christmas Caramels, making 40 to 50 pounds each year to share. Ellene was a member of St. Joseph’s Parish and Buena Vista Grange.

Family and friends were most important to her. Children, nieces and nephews, relatives, friends and neighbors all found a place to relax and hear her stories, of which there was an unending supply.

Ellene fought a strong fight, battling more illnesses than anyone deserved. Her last battle lasted more than a year and took its toll. She fought to the last breath, finally reaching for the everlasting arms.

Waiting to welcome her home are: her parents, Arthur and Hazel Bright; William “Bud” Munger, her soldier; Max L. Bright, brother; Constance Rodaway, sister; Ed Munger, nephew.

Left behind with an empty place are: Bill Munger (Jane), son, King City; Connie Quinlan, daughter, Salinas; Larean Bright, sister-in-law, Salinas

Grandchildren: Aaron (Judy) Munger, Rolling Hills; Sarah Munger, Pasadena; Katy Blowers (James), Salinas; Jess Quinlan (Vanessa) Hollister; Joe Quinlan, Salinas

Great grandsons: Lucas, Blake, Rhett and William

Nieces: Peggy Goldman, Salinas; Barbara (Jack) Bryan, Salinas.

A memorial service will be held at Struve and LaPorte Chapel on Tuesday, July 22, at 1:30 p.m. Internment will be with generations of her family at Prairie Union Cemetery, Shubert, Nebraska.

Suggested memorial donations designees: Prairie Union Church; Sacred Heart School, Salinas; Palma High School Scholarship Fund, Salinas; of the donor’s favorite charity.

Ellene Marie Munger (1925-2014)  was the daughter of Arthur Leslie Bright (1880-1951) who was the brother of Clarence Bright (1882-1956) who was the father of Neil Bright (1919-2010) who was the grandfather of Curt Bright.


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