The Winterfeldts retired to Myrtle Beach in 1971. Baba had sent a cable to Fred saying he should live at the Center, but there were legal difficulties. They were still in a small apartment, when, on a visit, Ivy Duce saw their position and persuaded Elizabeth to give them a role at the Center. They moved to Pine lodge where they were again welcoming Baba lovers, this time to His beautiful spiritual retreat, in Myrtle Beach. Ella was especially helpful working at Saroja Library. Another service: In 1969, Fred was the one who brought the marble slab for the tomb from Italy to Meherabad.
In 1978, when Fred was in an advanced state of cancer, and had only a little while to live, Ella asked him in desperation. "Fred, what am I going to do when you are gone?" Fred replied so sweetly, "Don't worry, Musch. I will come and get you." About a month before Ella passed on in 1985 (April 23), she was lying on her Baba sofa one late afternoon, when suddenly she saw Fred standing in the doorway. In her excitement she flung off the covers and started to run to him. Unfortunately she tripped over the blankets and fell. As Baba seemed to arrange it, three young people were instantly on the spot and gently lifted her to her "Baba sofa." She then told them, through the pain (a fractured collarbone), how Fred appeared in the doorway. As she was relating this she suddenly saw Baba standing near where Fred had been. Pointing excitedly, she kept saying over and over, "Look! there's Baba! Can't you see Him. Baba's there!" Jeff, Malcolm Clay, and Judy Gregory all looked and, as desperately as they would have liked to see Baba, His appearance was only for Ella. The two who meant the most to her in this life, her precious husband and her most precious Beloved, her all-in-all, had come to bring her home.
About a month later, offer a couple of weeks in the hospital, she was brought home to Pine Lodge (which after Fred's suffering, and her own constant ill health, she nicknamed Pain Lodge). Here she passed on. She slipped away during a few brief moments when those attending her were out of the room. Baba's name was constantly on her lips in her last days.
I was most fortunate to be able to visit her before this happened, and so was her dear friend Adele Wolkin, who had been called from the West Coast to help nurse her. We were both so grateful to have a chance to "say goodbye" to a very loving dear fiend and guru-bai, Ella. I was also very happy to get to know Jeff Wolverton, who so faithfully and for so many years, looked after her at the Center, where he is night watchman. Many others also had helped Ella during the years of separation after Fred's passing that were so hard for her - from 1978 to 1985 is a long time to wait for reunion with a loved one. But the memory of Fredella's love and devotion to each other, and to their dear Master, still perfumes the air at the gateway of His Center.
Charles Haynes spoke at Ella's funeral. He writes:
"Of course, I spoke of the many years of dedicated service Fredella gave to Baba, first in New York and then here at the Center. Caretakers and Gatekeepers, they gave years of selfless service. Day after day they greeted each visitor, constantly giving out so much love. Ella also was for many years the faithful librarian, always there for the guests with a warm smile and a word of encouragement. Although she suffered much in her final years, she saw everything as His will and she remembered Him constantly. Somehow one could feel in and through her illness that Baba was continuing to work through Ella.
"It is wonderful now to think of Fredella together once again with Baba. As a child I saw them as one - or perhaps as two sides of one coin. When we lived in New York Fredella helped and nurtured us in so many sweet ways. Each time we left town, for example, they would pile Mom, three kids, dog and cat into their wonderful old car (the one Baba used!) and take us to the train station. Dashing down the tracks to find our seats, dog puffing and cat crying, dear Fredella pulling us along - bags and all . . . this is the image permanently