November 9, 1954 - July 13, 2021
Theresa L. Ellabarger, 66, of Bonita Springs, Florida and Warsaw, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly on July 13, 2021 in Naples, Florida. Theresa was born November 9, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was the only child of the late William and Mildred (Dysert) Hossack. She and her husband, Dan, had been residents of Bonita Springs since 2017. Theresa grew up in Carmel, Indiana and often spoke of her cherished memories with neighborhood friends; she was known for being the fastest barefoot runner around. She spent a great deal of time visiting “the farm” in Boswell, Indiana, where her cousin and other relatives lived, and she recently shared that this was where her fondest childhood memories were made. She graduated from Carmel High School in 1973, where she played the flute in the marching band and competed and served as club secretary for DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), placing 2nd in the Miss Indiana DECA competition in 1973. She received an Associate Degree from Indiana Business College and went on to work as a phlebotomist in the lab at St. Vincent’s Hospital and in various doctors’ offices. Theresa met Dan Ellabarger in 1978, when she took a tennis class he was teaching at the Indianapolis Racquet Club. They were married in 1980. After their children were born, she made sure to work evenings so that she could be home with them during the day, as they were always her number one priority. Throughout her life, Theresa worked many different jobs to help provide opportunities for her family, until she found a perfect one that allowed her to be on the same schedule as her children: a school bus driver. She proudly drove for Carmel Clay Schools for 19 years and absolutely loved interacting with the children and being home with her own children during holiday breaks. She was a former member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and was currently a member of the Greyhound Pets of America (GPA), where she fostered and adopted greyhounds. She was a dedicated volunteer of GPA and of the Sun State Greyhound Adoption Group, where she educated others on the breed. She also volunteered at a horse farm in Naples, FL where she provided care for older horses that were no longer able to work and were seeking adoptive homes. Theresa was petite in size, but not in personality or in the love she gave. Phrases people used to describe her were “small but mighty”, “spitfire” and “firecracker”. She was passionate and quick to stand up for what she believed in; first and foremost was her family. She dedicated her life to making sure her children were healthy and happy and would let nothing stand in her way. Her smile was radiant, her laugh was infectious, her style and her hair were impeccable, her cooking and hostess skills rivaled Martha Stewart’s, her home always tidy and her energy was that of the energizer bunny. She loved to pick out meaningful gifts for friends and family and sent hundreds of care packages throughout her short lifetime. She was happiest when her family was happy or when she was on a dance floor. She danced with her whole body and couldn’t resist moving any time she heard music. She rarely rested, always had a full calendar and loved to entertain. Her ability to put the magic in the holidays is something her children will carry with them forever. She had a servant’s heart and tirelessly worked to serve God, her family, friends and beloved animals. Her faith and her relationship with the Lord were the foundation of her life. She was quick to put others before herself and found joy in making other people’s lives easier and better. When her children were young, in between working, she served as their taxi cab driver, taking them to all of their countless activities. She made sure to always have dinner on the table when they arrived home. She was their biggest (and loudest) cheerleader and supporter, no matter what they were doing, and she made sure they had endless opportunities. She was a fierce advocate for them and was not afraid to show her “mama bear” side. Family always came first. In more recent years, she took her title as “Mimi” very seriously and blessed her grandchildren with an abundance of love, experiences and quality time. If they were around her, the rest of the world melted away. She nurtured them with hugs, cuddles and attention. Her voice sounded like sunshine when she talked to them. She never hesitated to get down and play with them at their level, even when getting back up became difficult. She built unforgettable bonds and memories with them. She made strong and deep friendships that endured the test of time. She had built a network of cherished friends at their summer home on Chapman Lake in Warsaw, IN and at Village Walk, their Bonita Springs home. She found joy in life’s simple pleasures: quality time with family and friends, her pets, evening golf cart rides around her neighborhood, sitting by the pool and by her fountain, dancing at weddings, getting frozen custard at Ritter’s, exploring little towns with Dan and watching a sunset at the beach or at the lake. She aspired to travel the world in her retirement years and always hoped to get back down to Perdido Beach, AL, where treasured family vacation memories were made. As an only child, Theresa’s family as well as her extended family meant the world to her. She is survived by her loving husband, Daniel R. Ellabarger, of Bonita Springs; their three children: Courtney A. Hayes and her husband, Josh, of Gilbert, Arizona; Brent D. Ellabarger and his wife, Lauren, of Tucson, Arizona; and Scott D. Ellabarger, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and by her three beloved grandchildren: Jude E. Hayes, Layne S. Hayes and Morrison J. Hayes. She is also survived by her half-sister, Mavis M. Bonus of Oceanside, CA, and by many close cousins including Patricia Ullrich of St. Petersburg, FL, Mary Beth Brubaker of Boswell, IN, Earl Pahlow of Portland, OR and Gary Pahlow of Woodland, CA. She was also very close with her sisters-in-law - whom she considered sisters - Mary Ann Brumm of Cornelius, NC and Laura Schigel of Cincinnati, OH as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, and her nephew, Elliot D. Brumm. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Village Walk in Bonita Springs (15291 Latitude Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135) and is planned for October 23 starting at 3:00 (Please note the time change). We invite everyone to come to celebrate a beautiful life well lived. All are welcome. The celebration will open with prayer and a few words and we will invite anyone who would like to speak to do so shortly after that. After this, we will have time for socializing while we remember and honor our dear Theresa. Beverages and snacks will be served and we will invite everyone to hit the dance floor and celebrate Theresa around 5pm, as we know she will be dancing with us in spirit. Plans are still tentative, but we hope to ask for help from the Village Walk Community so that we can send Theresa off with a quick sunset golf cart cruise around the community she loved around 6:30pm. Please check this page every so often for updates, as we are currently in the process of finalizing minor details. Please note that when you come through the gated community, you will want to state you are there for the celebration of life. If you think you will be able to attend, your RSVP would be greatly appreciated. You can do so by texting or calling Courtney Hayes at 317-514-2559. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in honor of her grandson Jude to the 22Q Family Foundation at http://22qfamilyfoundation.org/donate; to The National Alliance on Mental Illness at https://bit.ly/3BrtqOl; or to the Sun State Greyhound Adoption at https://www.sunstategreyhounds.org/home.html. To sign her guest register or to leave online condolences please visit www.ShikanyFuneralHome.com.
Theresa L. Ellabarger, 66, of Bonita Springs, Florida and Warsaw, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly on July 13, 2021 in Naples, Florida. Theresa was born November 9, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was the only child of the late William and... View Obituary & Service Information
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