DOWNEY – Ella Albush Bretz passed away in her sleep in her home of 50 years in Downey on Oct. 10 at the age of 91. She was born in Lithuania in 1923 and, after the war broke out, lived in Germany. Her life was hard, living on a farm and then being smuggled in a coal cart from East Germany to West Germany during the war at age 16, and never seeing her parents after that.
She worked as a nurse in Germany and after the war immigrated to the United States via Ellis Island in 1949 from Stuttgart, Germany. She made her way to Beverly Hills and landed a job as a governess for Harry Cohn, then president of Columbia Pictures.
She was married in 1954 to Wilhelm Bretz and had two daughters, Melanie and Dorothy. She worked as a dietician assistant at Rio Hondo Hospital for 10 years and also the Broadway in Downey for 10 years.
She is survived by her children, daughter Melanie Bretz Kinash, her son-in-law William Kinash, and their three daughters, Allison Jones, Natalie Kinash and Jennifer Kinash; and daughter Dorothy Bretz Pemberton, son-in-law Alan, with their two daughters, Shelby and Whitney Pemberton.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Miller-Mies Mortuary in Downey, followed by a graveside ceremony at Rose Hills Memorial Park.
A reception will take place at the home of Dorothy Pemberton at 4 p.m., and family and friends are welcome.
Published: Oct. 16, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 27