Rose Ellen Jacobson

Rose Ellen Jacobson, passed away on April 10, 2023.

Rose Ellen Jacobson 1948-2023

JACOBSON—Ellen left this earthly plane on April 10th much to the incredible sadness of her beloved husband Michael, and her only daughter, Melanie Heard. To say that she had an impact on Florence, her favorite city on the planet, would be an enormous understatement. Ellen’s granddaughter Sabrina was the apple of her eye, and her son-in-law Chris, was her hero. Ellen also leaves her two younger brothers, Larry Muesse and John Muesse, and their families, with whom she was very close.

As a Co-founder of C.R.O.W. along with Melanie and Mike, she served on the board of directors for 12 years and helped guide the organization to many remarkable achievements.

Born April 30, 1948 in Long Beach, Cailf., she graduated from Millikan High in Long Beach before attending Long Beach City College. In March of 1967 she met her husband of nearly 56 years at a performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at the Long Beach Playhouse when she was only 18, They were married-just 3 months later. Their only child, Melanie, came along in 1976.  When Mike and Ellen were newlyweds, they took their first trip to the Pacific Northwest which they both realized would become their eventual home.

Ellen loved horses but couldn’t afford to own one until her new husband bought Penny for her. Penny was the first of over 35 horses and mules that Ellen would eventually own, train, and breed. She was especially proud of her racing quarter horses, bred and raised at the family home in Southern Calif.

Upon returning to California from a trip to Europe, the Jacobsons started The Nice Co., a novelty business that made patches, iron-ons, bumper stickers and much more. In 1976, Mike decided to change course and become a real estate broker. At about that same time Ellen acquired a broodmare named Tiny Rocketeer who went on to give her 14 foals including the memorable Easy Skywalker, Top Fuel Doc, and Miss Missle Toes, all of whom had many wins at Los Alamitos Race Track. She also became interested in raising mules and the family purchased Ann’s Winner, a dressage champion, who participated in The Rose Bowl Parade. Ellen had Ann for 30 years. She was active in the American Mule Association and really loved to go horse camping. Ellen leaves behind many treasured friends, all of whom were so special to Ellen. 

Ellen was a full-time mom and wife, overseeing the family ranch as well as Melanie’s many incursions into the world of ballet, traveling with her daughter to Houston, Salt Lake City, New York, and Washington, D.C. Ellen also helped Mike in his capacity as regional artistic director for Murder Mystery Players, where she emceed and acted in productions at Dave & Busters. She was soon inspired to try her hand at playwriting and turned out the hilarious Karaoke Kills Me as well as many original murder mystery comedy scripts, which were performed throughout several states. Poison Pen Players provided many outstanding comedy murder mysteries for many years. Ellen loved to make people laugh, and believed that laughter was healing and an important gift to all of us.  


For C.R.O.W. she penned Hinky, The Lake Monster and all of the Holly Jolly Follies scripts since 2016. She also wrote four short stories for C.R.O.W.’s 2020 parking lot radio shows and window displays. One of the stories, entitled The Christmas Stuffies, is currently being adapted to a children’s book in her honor, with illustrations by local artist, Susan Weathers. Ellen had many memorable acting performances locally including Aunt Abby in Arsenic and Old Lace for LRP as well as Ouiser in the Steel Magnolias (directed by Melanie) at the Florence Playhouse.

Florence has lost an irreplaceable talent and a person who truly cared about the local youth and their opportunities in the arts. Her daughter, Melanie, intends to carry on with C.R.O.W. and to continue her mother’s legacy of love, laughter, creativity, and kindness.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to an organization that supports youth in the arts or animals, as these were Ellen's two greatest passions in life. 

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Florence Events Center. If you knew Ellen and would care to honor her with your presence, please come. If you wish to speak or share something, please contact Melanie by April 30th: [email protected]