La Jolla philanthropist Ellen Revelle died Wednesday, May 6 at UCSD’s Thornton Hospital following a stroke. She was 98.
La Jolla residents recounted stories illustrating Revelle’s ties to the community during Thursday’s La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) meeting.
“Ellen Revelle died yesterday at 98 years old,” LJCPA trustee Ray Weiss said. “I want to make a motion [for this group to] send a letter of condolences to the Revelle family.”
“I remember Ellen Revelle standing inside this room a couple of years ago,” said LJCPA trustee David Little, adding that the Scripps family heiress fought against a parking lot. “Her speech preserved four tennis courts and the rec center as we see it now.”
Ellen Virginia Clark Revelle was born July 31, 1910 in La Jolla. She was a member of La Jolla’s pioneering Scripps family. Her grandfather, James E. Scripps, founded the Detroit News, and she was named after her great-aunt, Ellen Browning Scripps. The Scripps family donated funding toward projects such as the seawall at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool, Scripps College and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO).
Revelle’s late husband, world-renowned scientist Roger Revelle, was a leading expert on climate change and founded UCSD, Scripps news reported. Roger Revelle died in 1991. In 1993, Ellen married Rollin P. Eckis, who died in 1999.
Ellen was an ardent supporter of the arts, including La Jolla Music Society, the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Playhouse and La Jolla Art Museum. She was a founding member of the Oceanids women’s organization at UCSD and served on the boards of Scripps Memorial Hospital, The Bishop’s School and La Jolla Library Association. She was a trustee of Scripps College for almost 50 years and with Roger Revelle made donations to SIO and founded the UCSD International Center and UCSD Faculty Club.
Ellen Revelle is survived by four children, including daughters Anne Revelle Shumway, Mary Ellen Revelle Paci and Carolyn Revelle and son William Revelle; 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held May 10 at MCASD’s Sherwood Auditorium. In lieu of flowers, Revelle’s family asks that donations be sent in Ellen’s memory to UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla; Scripps College, Claremont; or La Jolla Chamber Music Society, La Jolla.