Cover photo for Ellen Marie Svendsen's Obituary
Ellen Marie Svendsen Profile Photo
1949 Ellen 2012

Ellen Marie Svendsen

December 5, 1949 — June 1, 2012

Ellen Svendsen
December 5, 1949 – June 1, 2012

Ellen left to be with the Lord after fighting breast cancer since 1984. She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Ken, who was at her side holding her hand when she passed away. Other surviving family members include her brothers David (Marilyn) Lauer, Eugene Lauer and Brian (Yvonne) Lauer, nieces Katherine (Wille) Stokes, Sarah (John) Bowley, Suzanne (Tony) Kay, Terra (Patrick) Roberts and Patricia Lauer, and nephews Matthew and Todd Lauer.
Pre-deceased are her mother and father Ruth (Sorenson) Lauer, died 1/31/2006, and Joseph Lauer, died 4/25/2008, niece Emily Kay Lauer and nephew Michael (Jennifer) Lauer.

Ellen grew up in Racine, WI forming close friendships with her “Prospect Street Gang” that lasted throughout her life. She met the love of her life, Ken, in the 8th grade. They married May 27, 1972, beginning a life that would take them from the midwest to Bakersfield, California. Ellen worked in banking rising through the ranks to become a trust officer in Racine. In Bakersfield she made use of her stitchery talents working first at Sew Original, then in the real estate field, later at Sew ‘n’ Go alterations and finally in the travel industry at Cloud 9 Travel. It is a testament to her character that all of those employers became fast friends with Ellen during and after the working relationships.

In 1984 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and Ken fought back becoming active for several years in Couples Against Cancer. In 1996 with her first recurrence, Ellen participated in a stem cell transplant clinical trial & UCLA. The staff marveled at her spirit and strength enduring harsh treatments to regain her health. In 2000, she & Ken devoted much energy to The Revlon Run-Walk in LA and later to Bakersfield’s Relay for Life events when her health permitted.

Ellen knew how to live well, love a lot, and laugh often. She shared her strength with anyone walking the same path. Her love for Ken, their life together & traveling never waned. She was no fan of gloomy weather! Give her summer sunshine and Bakersfield’s heat, Ellen was all smiles. She tolerated fog visiting their beloved Cambria, but more times than not brought sunshine with them to that coastal enclave. She was always planning a trip to Hawaii, getting fired up about the Packer’s chances for the Super Bowl, going home to visit family in Racine, collecting sun sculptures with Ken for their backyard, and never ceasing to help her friends.

Ellen gave her full attention to life, lived in the moment, knew how to savor the small joys in a day and the sweet memories of a lifetime. All of us are finer people for her friendship. A celebration of her life is planned for Saturday, June 9th, 2012 at their home from 2 to 5 PM for this extraordinary woman. Friends are invited to attend.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Emily K. Memorial fund at the Lutheran Community Foundation ( or the American Cancer Society are suggested.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Marie Svendsen, please visit our flower store.


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