Obituary: Elena "Ellie" O’Toole |

Obituary: Elena "Ellie" O’Toole

Staff Reports

A Celebration of Eternal Life memorial service will take place Saturday, Feb. 19 for Elena “Ellie” O’Toole, who died of ovarian cancer on Feb. 5, 2000, at her home in Woodfords, Calif., with her husband at her side. She was 54.

Mrs. O’Toole was born July 3, 1945, at Detroit, Mich. She was a resident of Tahoe Paradise from 1971 to 1976, when she moved to Woodfords. She worked for the city of South Lake Tahoe for five years in various capacities including city clerk, personnel director and assistant city manager. During that time she earned her EMT certificate while training with Lake Tahoe Ambulance. She resigned from the city in 1976 to found and manage Substitute Personnel. She sold the agency to her sister, Coco Kelly, and Debi Hamel in 1991 and moved her organizational headquarters to Carson City, where she started a new agency, Personnel Plus. She concurrently founded Sierra Assisted Living Foundation, an organization through which she completed plans for Ellington Manor, an affordable, interactive home for self-sufficient seniors and developmentally and physically disabled adults that will be built in the Carson Valley when funding is set.

O’Toole was tirelessly involved with different organizations that assisted and advocated for a dignified existence for disabled people in the community. In 1981 she was a founder and active member of the Tahoe Area Coordinating Council for the Disabled. Through TACCD she worked to educate citizens and lawmakers about the needs of the disabled.

She also represented Lake Tahoe and Alpine County on California’s Developmental Disabilities Area Board. She was instrumental in raising funds to purchase an elevator at Lake Tahoe airport and worked to raise matching funds for a jetway to make the airport accessible to disabled and elderly patrons. She was involved in organizing and coordinating the fact-finding efforts of volunteers and members, typesetting, printing and distribution of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Tahoe Handicapped Handbook that enable disabled visitors to locate accessible hotels, motels and restaurants. O’Toole was intimately involved with Christmas Cheer, Special Olympics and any individual she came across who needed help, visiting and assisting the aged and infirm, giving rides to doctors appointments or medical treatments to those in need, teaching disabled children and adults to swim and assisting individuals with their physical therapy.

O’Toole was the ultimate unselfish volunteer. She was a member of Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe and SI of Carson City and received numerous community awards for her volunteerism and dedication, including the prestigious Voluntary Action Betty Davis Award. She was an active member of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of directors from 1986 to 1992. She assisted in developing and chaired the Tahoe Business Roundtable and was very active in the many chamber functions over the years. She was proud of her solid and unswerving faith in God and was active in her church.

Survivors include her husband, Terry O’Toole of Woodfords; parents, Tim and Peck Nagle of Gardnerville, Nev.; sisters, Sharri Holman and Reen Tisinger of Gardnerville, Kelli Edwards of Virginia City, Nev., and Coco Kelly of South Lake Tahoe; brothers, Tom Nagle of Markleville, Calif., Tim Nagle of Anza, Calif., and Ted Nagle of Gardnerville; cousin, Phil Nagel of Simi Valley, Calif.; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and other treasured relatives.

A Celebration of Eternal Life memorial service will be Saturday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at St. Gall’s Catholic Church on Centerville Lane in Gardnerville.

To honor her wishes, in lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Sierra Assisted Living Foundation, 1188-B High School Road, Gardnerville, Nev. 89410.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.