ELLEN MAURINE HOUSE was born on June 27, 1957 in Dallas, Texas, to Charles J. Ward and Lucy Carol Christian, and passed away on January 28, 2024.

Ellen was raised in Tyler, Texas, and graduated on May 29, 1975 from Robert E. Lee High School; she spent 2 semesters attending Tyler Junior College and then transferred to The University of Texas, Austin.
While at UT, Ellen joined the national service organization, Alpha Phi Omega, where she participated in many civic and campus service projects, including a campus-wide blood drive which she co-chaired over multiple semesters. It was also at UT where she met her future husband, Charles L. House, a member of the same organization.

Charlie and Ellen were married on April 1, 1978, in Tyler, Texas and settled in Midland, Texas, where Charlie worked as a landman. Ellen found work as a secretary and worked for different attorneys over the next few years. During this time, she also continued her giving spirit by joining the Big Brother/Big Sister organization, where she was matched with a 13-year-old girl from, the now, High Sky Childrens Ranch, named Angela. It did not take long for Ellen to decide that she and Charlie could do more for Angela than the Ranch could, and they agreed. Ellen and Charlie applied for, and were eventually appointed as, Angela’s legal guardians.

After working for the attorneys, Ellen decided she had the calling to become one, and enrolled in The University of Texas – Permian Basin, where she earned a B.B.A. in Management in January 1987. In the summer of 1987, Ellen, Charlie, and their 18-month-old son, Jeff, moved to Austin, Texas, where Ellen enrolled in The University of Texas School of Law. Ellen was conferred the degree of Doctor of Jurisprudence on December 23, 1989.

The family returned to Midland, where Ellen began her legal career as an associate with the Law Firm of Cotton, Bledsoe, Tighe, and Dawson (CBTD). In 1996, Ellen and Charlie welcomed home their second son, James. After working for about 10 years, and making Partner at CBTD, Ellen was hired as the first “in-house” Council for the Midland Independent School District (MISD). Ellen retired from MISD in June 2012.
During her career, she served on the State Bar of Texas Select Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1999 – 2007. She also volunteered service to numerous non-profits, such as Safe Place of the Permian Basin (f/k/a Center for Battered Women & their Children), CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of West Texas, United Way of Midland, Girl Scouts of the Permian Basin, Teen Court, Junior Achievement, and numerous others.

Ellen enjoyed traveling with her husband and family, and seeing various parts of the country, with her favorite being Hawaii. Later in life, she developed a passion for cooking and was always looking for new recipes to try on Charlie and their friends. In 2017 they began building a new home in League City, Texas, and moved there in July of that year, just in time to be “baptized” by Hurricane Harvey, which they survived with ease.
Ellen was preceded in death by both of her parents. She is survived by her husband, Charles L. House, daughter Angela Palma, and sons, Jeffrey P. House and James C. House; granddaughters Melissa Palma and Ashley Palma, and great-granddaughter Shaelyn Henry; along with many nieces and nephews, all of whom knew they were “her favorite.” She is also survived by her brother, Charles D. Ward, and his wife Karen; and chosen sister, Vanessa Seghers.

A Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Crowder Funeral Home, 1645 E. Main Street, League City, Texas, followed by a reception at Opus Ocean Grill, 1510 Marina Bay Drive, Ste. 124, Kemah, Texas. To view the ceremony, please click the following link, https://youtube.com/live/tzNJdUIpLso . Dress is business casual.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Dog Ranch Rescue in Anna, Texas, at http://dogranchrescue.com, or charity of choice.

To view the photo montage, please click the link below:



  1. Ellen was such a joy to work with in Midland ISD. She had such a heart for children and their parents – especially those who struggled. She will always be one of my favorites. I know she will be missed, but memories of her will be treasured.

    Betty Newman
  2. My deepest condolences to you and your Family Jeff.

    Alberico (Al) Maldonado and Family.


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