Ellen Lowell, the granddaughter of the esteemed Judge Lowell, grew up in a wealthy home and had a very comfortable life. The two closest people in teenage Ellen's life were her best friend, Penny Hughes, and her father. Ellen adored her father and enjoyed spending time with him. Unfortunately, Ellen's comfortable life was shattered when she learned that her father was having an affair and planned to divorce her mother. Her father's affair, along with her mother's suicide attempt, caused Ellen to rebel and she bitterly disowned her father. Tragically, Ellen's father died before they were able to reconcile. Shortly after her father's death, Ellen found herself pregnant with Tim Cole's baby. Ellen wanted Tim to marry her and was shocked when he finally told her he was married and his bitter wife refused to give him a divorce. Alone, Ellen was forced to give her baby, whom she named Jimmy for her father, up for adoption. By the time Tim finally obtained his divorce, he was dying of leukemia. Ellen married him mere weeks before he died.
Through the years, Ellen found herself pining away for her child, only to find him right under her nose! Ellen was working as a babysitter for the Stewart family when she noticed that that Danny Stewart was the spitting image of her son. After some detective work,she verified that Danny was indeed her son. Ellen again went against her family and sued for custody of the boy. Unfortunately the court decided that Danny should stay with his adopted family.
After the trial, Ellen's stepfather offered David Stewart a job at Memorial Hospital. Though Ellen had caused the Stewart family hardship, David sympathized with her and they became friends. When Betty Stewart died, Ellen comforted David and, after a while, they fell in love and David proposed. Unfortunately, David's housekeeper was also in love with David and threatened to tell Danny who his real mother was (on her deathbed, Betty Stewart asked that he never know). Fearing that Danny would learn the truth and hate her, Ellen impulsively knocked the woman unconscious, killing her. Ellen spent a short time in jail before she finally married David. Years later, Dan learned the truth about his parentage and eventually accepted Ellen as his mother.
Ellen gave birth to two daughters, Annie and Dee. For the next several years, Ellen's life revolved around her children and grandchildren. Ellen and David had a long happy marriage. The only crisis their marriage suffered was when David disappeared during their daughter, Dee's, rape trial. David was gone for several months and when he returned he had a case of amnesia and had been involved with another woman. Unsure about the status of her marriage, and valuing her newfound independence, she refused to take him back. She soon relented, however, and they remarried in a small ceremony with family and friends present. A few years later, David moved to Africa to conduct AIDS research. However, the long separation got to the Stewarts and David compromised by conducting his research in Atlanta. The compromised worked until David’s death in 1990. In 1993, Oakdale Memorial Hospital dedicated a hospital wing in honor of David Stewart AIDS Research Project.
Ellen spent the years following David's death doing volunteer work at Memorial Hospital (where her stepfather, son, and, husband had built their careers). Quite a few years ago, Ellen decided to take advantage of her golden years and do some traveling. Though Oakdale is her hometown, she has decided to live her own life for once. Ellen is finally enjoying the independence that she never had before.