SURPRISE, Ariz. — Margaret Ellen Slaughter of Surprise, Arizona, passed away Monday, July 22, at her home after a cancer recurrence. She was 51 years old.

She was born July 31, 1967 to the late Jim and Jean Slaughter of Trappe. She graduated from Easton High School in 1985. Ellen was a veteran of the United States Army and spent her entire civilian career working for the United States Border Patrol in Arizona from which she was retired.

Recently, Ellen described herself as “an easy-going, light-hearted woman who does not take life too seriously.” She loved being out in nature, spending numerous hours hiking in deserts and mountains near her home. Because cancer treatments left her exhausted all the time, three years ago she traded in hiking trails for off-road trails. She bought a used Jeep Wrangler and joined the Copperstate 4 Wheelers, which she described “as a small club with a gigantic heart.” In addition to 4-wheeling, they give back much to the community. This kept Ellen in touch with nature as did being a volunteer for Liberty Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation center. Ellen spent much of her retirement time rescuing numerous injured birds and animals as well as leading environmental education programs at Liberty.

Margaret Ellen Slaughter was affectionately known as Moe by her wealth of friends in the greater Phoenix area. We all will miss her enthusiasm for taking on a project and learning new things. We all will miss her smile. We all will miss her.

Ellen is survived by her wife, Rena Shipman; her daughter, Jessica Pratt; and grandson, Aiden Boyle-Pratt. She is also survived by her sister, Gail Nightingale; brother and sister-in-law, Glenn and Kathy Slaughter; brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Phyllis Slaughter; and sister-in-law, Barbara Slaughter, as well as special aunts, Lib and Estelle Slaughter and Ida Hickman. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Betsy Rippier; brother, Jim Slaughter; and brother-in-law, Jim Nightingale.

For those wishing to honor Ellen’s life and save a bird’s life in a way that will make Ellen smile, please consider making a donation to Liberty Wildlife, 2600 E. Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040.

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