David Ellis, 90, of Gainesville, Florida, died on December 23rd, 2019.
Mr. Ellis was born on January 17, 1929 in Kansas City, Kansas. He attended Hawthorne Elementary, Northwest Junior High, and graduated from Wyandotte High School in the class of 1947. As a Boy Scout, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and was inducted into the Order of the Arrow. He had various jobs while growing up including working summers in oil fields in Wyoming and western Kansas and at the Railway Ice Company in Kansas City. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business (Accounting) from the University of Kansas in 1951. While at KU he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
Dave was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy in 1952 and was sent to Heavy Attack Squadron 9 at Naval Air Station Sanford, Florida, where he flew as a Radar Observer on Lockheed P2V Neptunes and as a Bombardier/Navigator on North American AJ Savages. In 1953, he was part of the Navy’s first aerial refueling operation flown from an aircraft carrier (USS Midway). He also participated in operations from the USS Randolph and the USS Coral Sea. Following his release from active duty in 1955, he continued to serve with reserve units at NAS Olathe, KS, and NAS Jacksonville as a Transport Navigator. He also commanded a reserve recruiting unit in Jacksonville, from which he retired as a Captain in 1974.
Dave married the former Dilon Baker of Lake Mary, Florida on January 21, 1956 and returned to Kansas City to join the insurance firm of Merriam, Ellis & Benton, co-founded by his grandfather in 1899. The Ellises returned to Florida and lived in Titusville until moving to Gainesville in 1979. Dave was a CPA and was a partner at R. F. Stonerock & Company in Titusville as well as an owner and Chief Financial Officer of Mamba Engineering. In Gainesville, he was controller for the Florida Farm Bureau and provided accounting services to several local businesses until retiring in 2004.
He was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing with the Men’s Senior Golf group at Haile Plantation for many years. He also enjoyed fishing, duck and game bird hunting, and watching his beloved KU Jayhawks during basketball season. Dave was a lifelong Episcopalian and a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Gainesville.
He was predeceased by his parents, Donald Francis Ellis and Mary Ainsworth Ellis, as well as his brother Don A. Ellis. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dilon Ellis of Gainesville; his children Jane Ellis of Gainesville, Amy Ellis of Orlando and Don Ellis of Trenton; and his grandchildren David Dunleavy of Orlando and Daphne Colson of Gainesville.
A funeral will be held on Friday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE 1st Street, Gainesville with a reception following the service in Page Parish Hall.
For those who wish to do so, donations may be made to The Colonial Williamsburg Fund, www.history.org or Ducks Unlimited, www.ducks.org.
Arrangements are in the care of Milam Funeral and Cremation Services, 311 South Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com