Retired Major William Emmett Ellis was 76 years old when he entered into eternity. He was born in Marianna, FL on October 10, 1946 to the late Charles E. and Dorothy (Beasley) Ellis. Raised in San Antonio, TX by his parents and with his sister, Pamela. William joined the Navy Reserves and then the Air Force where he became a pilot. He flew helicopters in the Vietnam War in a search and rescue division, and later in his career he flew B-52 planes around the top of the world during the Cold War.
William met his wife of 48 years at the San Antonio Savings and Loan where Judy Shirley was a bank teller. They settled in Oscoda, MI with their children. After 23 years, William retired as a Major in the Air Force from Wurtsmith AFB, Oscoda, MI.
He is survived by his family; 4 children; Shirley McMahon, Natalie Ridgewell, Todd Ellis, and Joy Ellis; his sister, Pamela Collins; 2 nieces and a great-niece and great-nephew living in Texas. He has 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandsons.
He faithfully served over 40 years with the Gideon’s International spreading the gospel. William believed strongly in letting people know that God was there for them, if they would just accept Him into their hearts, they would know eternal life and forgiveness.
William was preceded in death by his parents, his newborn sister, and loved ones he cherished as family. Retired Major William E. Ellis will be laid to rest with his wife at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, MI.
Memorial contributions can be made out to the Gideon’s International or can be mailed to the Ellis family at 6074 Stagecoach Trail Oscoda, MI 48750.