Ellen “Elena” Oberg Moreno January 7, 1921-November 26, 2016

Ellen "Elena" Oberg Moreno January 7, 1921-November 26, 2016

Ellen Oberg Moreno, a nationally-acclaimed educator and civic figure, peacefully passed away at her Morgan Hill home on November 26, 2016. She was in her 95th year, all of which were lived in her beloved South Santa Clara Valley and her home-town of Morgan Hill within view of El Toro Peak, which she last climbed in her seventies. Born of her fathers’ immigrant Swedish mining, and later, ranching family and her mothers pioneer Walnut Creek family, she was raised on a fruit ranch north of Madrone against the west hills. Ellen and her brother, Harold Sonny Oberg, always held warm memories of their early life on their family ranch, nearby creeks and surrounding hills. Ellen attended Old Burnett Elementary School, and graduated from Live Oak Union High School in 1939. By that time, her parents had moved to Morgan Hill and were operating the Cafe at the Skeels Hotel on Monterey Street. Ellen worked there while pursuing her advanced education at Hartnell College and San Jose State, where she earned her undergraduate degree and certification as a teacher. She met the love of her life, John Moreno, and they married in 1942. She began her professional calling as a local elementary school teacher, where her creative, artistic and musical approach delighted decades of young children. John embarked upon his career as Police Chief and later, City Administrator for Morgan Hill. Together, they raised three children: Glen, who attended Stanford and Harvard Law School, and has served a distinguished career as an international banker, financier and publisher. Then came twins, Candice and Kim, who attended university and pursued careers as an educator and a public administrator, respectively. Another love of Ellens’ life was her garden. She was a member of the Morgan Hill Flower Lovers Club of which her mother, Maybelle, had been a charter member. Her lovely garden bouquets frequently appeared, bringing enjoyment and comfort to her many friends and organizations. She was an avid world traveler, who, with her husband, explored six continents. She was also an accomplished pianist, who to the delight of her family, continually filled her home with the refrains of classical, romantic, popular and show tunes. Professionally, Ellen is listed in the Whos Who of American Educators for her pioneer concepts and classroom method in bi-lingual, bi-cultural elementary education. Her studies in Mexico led to her Masters Degree in Latin American Studies from San Jose State. Ellen was an active member of the American Association of University Women, the Morgan Hill Historical Society and The Fabulous Flappers Dance Team. She was the recipient of Morgan Hills Citizen of the Year award.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John R Moreno, her brother, Harold (Sonny) Oberg, and is survived by her children, Glen, Kim and Candice, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Contributions to the AAUW Morgan Hill Chapter Scholarship Fund and the Morgan Hill Historical Society Building Fund would be appreciated.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Ellen on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 1:00 PM in the Morgan Hill Community Center El Toro Room.