Brookswood business icon passes away

Ella Little ‘took advantage of every moment and lived life on her own terms,' says her daughter, Carla Oberg.

Longtime Brookswood boutique owner Ella Little passed away on Monday

A longtime Langley businesswoman and champion of the Brookswood community has passed away at age 83.

Ella Little, who owned Ella’s Clothes Closet in Brookswood for nearly 40 years, before closing her store in June, 2015, died on Jan. 30 after suffering a stroke.

She was discovered in her home by a visitor and taken to hospital, where she passed away, “gracefully and peacefully, surrounded by her four children.”

“She went out in true Ella style,” said her daughter, Carla Oberg.

Ella lived life to the fullest and took advantage of every moment, and she did things on her own terms, Oberg said.

“If she didn’t like something, she’d say, ‘Let’s try something else.’”

After closing the store, Ella and Oberg did trunk shows together, promoting one of the store’s popular clothing lines.

At the time of the boutique’s closure, she explained she also planned to talk to the museum about mounting a display of a vintage clothing and to work with jewelry maker, Karen Chopik.

In addition to her involvement with Brookswood Summerfest, an annual celebration of the south Langley community, Ella was an avid fundraiser for both the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Cancer Foundation.

“She woke every morning with a purpose,” reads her obituary.

She passed those values of hard work and community responsibility along to her four children —  David, Joanne, Carla and Richard.

“She was a very, very strong community-minded person. If something needed to be done, she was involved,” said Oberg.

“It was always instilled in us, you have to give back.”

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, it was there that Ella raised her family before moving to B.C. and opening her boutique, moving “seamlessly from farming and pre-cast concrete to high fashion.”

“Despite her commitment to business and community, Ella’s priority was always family.

“She was a constant gathering point for (her children) and ultimately for her adoring grandchildren and now great grandchild, Felix.”

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6 at Newlands Golf and Country Club, 21025 48 Ave.