Aug. 3, 1925 — Aug. 28, 2018
Our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend, John J. Ellis, passed away peacefully Aug. 28, 2018.
John was the fourth son of six children born to John and Margaret Ellis. Their family moved to Kelso when John was an infant. This remained his home for the next 93 years except while serving during World War II.
In high school, he turned out for the Kelso High football team, where he was a lineman, better known as “Tank.” His last game was played in 1943 at the annual Thanksgiving Day game. The next day he furloughed out to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, where he trained to be a gunner on Merchant Marine ships in the South Pacific. Johnny returned from the war and finished high school in 1945, thanks to the kindness of his football coach, Emmett Schroeder and his wife Opal offered John a place in their home which gave him the opportunity to graduate.
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In 1948, John married his sweetheart, Joyce Strueby. By this time John was working at Longview Fibre and together with Joyce they started their lives, raising three children, working hard and cultivating many friendships. Throughout their 68 years together, Johnny and Joyce had a wonderful life, traveling, spending precious time with their family and entertaining their many friends. At 90 Johnny was still golfing and he never lost his love for football. Friday nights were spent at the Kelso High games and on Sundays he would gather with friends to watch the Seahawks.
John was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Joyce; a daughter, Denise; his parents; four brothers, Claude, George, Bob, and Jim; and a sister, Francis.
John leaves behind two children, Kathy Waite (Doug), and Mark Ellis (Rosemary); six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
A celebration of John’s life is planned from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Kelso-Longview Elks.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Hospice Care Center in John’s name.