It’s always challenging to summarize the life of an individual in a few paragraphs; even more so for someone you barely knew. Challenging or not, remembering where we’ve come from has always been important to me, and acknowledging the debt of gratitude to those who have laid our groundwork is always a good place to start. And so with this post I would like to remember and celebrate the life of Ellen Severtson, a wonderful vision therapist from San Gabriel, CA who passed away this past Friday.
As always when help is needed, I’ve turned to my friend and 2001 COVT of the Year, Linda Sanet, who shared the following about Mrs. Severtson:
Ellen was my friend and for many years she and I were on the committee for the CA Vision Therapists Forum under the auspices of OEPF. I had the privilege of presenting the Lora McGraw Award to her. She was extremely intelligent, a leader with a quiet and respectful manner, and a driving force for recognition and Certification of Vision Therapists. I believe that she was among those in the first group to be Certified in 1978.
She was one of the founders of the Southern California Vision Therapists Forum which is held yearly in San Diego California under the auspices of OEPF. For many years Ellen served on the organizing committee. She was very intelligent, and knew how to lead in a quiet respectful manner. When I joined the ranks of Vision Therapists in Southern California, I found the group somewhat closed. They took a vote to not allow me to join their study group. Ellen on the other hand welcomed me, was a big support, and never failed to freely share her knowledge with me.
Whether you knew Ellen or not, she has likely influenced your Vision Therapy and the model you and your doctor follow. She brought many gifts to us, and for me especially helped me understand the crucial importance of general movement ability in the work we do.
Pictured: Dr. Bob Severtson and his late wife, Ellen, at an SCCO event in 2012