Meloy, Ellen (Ditzler) 1946-2004
MELOY, Ellen (Ditzler) 1946-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born June 21, 1946, in Pasadena, CA; died November 4, 2004, in Bluff, UT. Naturalist, illustrator, and author. Meloy was best known for her essay collections about the natural beauty of the American Southwest. A graduate of Goucher College, where she earned a degree in art, she worked as an art gallery curator and illustrator but left these pursuits to earn an M.S. in environmental science from the University of Montana. After moving to Utah, she fell in love with the area while traveling with her husband, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger. Her desert excursions inspired her to write her first book, Raven's Exile: A Season on the Green River (1994), which won the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and the Whiting Foundation Writer's Award. Two more collections followed, The Last Cheater's Waltz: Beauty and Violence in the Desert Southwest (1999) and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Anthropology of Turquoise: Meditations on Landscape, Art, and Spirit (2002). The latter also won the Utah Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award. In addition to writing, Meloy taught at writers' workshops, contributed to Utah Public Radio, and was a riverboat guide. Because she led such an active lifestyle, her early death from either an aneurism or heart attack was shocking to friends and family. At the time, she had just completed her fourth book, Eating Stone.