Ernest S. Ellis

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Brigadier General Ernest S. Ellis, U.S. Army, Retired, age 89, passed away on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was born in Duquesne, Pa. on August 10, 1924, a son of the late Nicholas and Elizabeth (Kapliar) Ellis.

On March 15, 1943 he entered the U.S. Army as an enlisted man during World War II. He served as a Combat M.P. with the 29th Tac. Air Command. His combat service started with the invasion of Europe at Normandy Beach Head, St. Mere Eglice, Cherburg, Carrngton, St. Lo. Mastrich, Holland, Belgium and the Rhine River Crossing into Germany. His unit was cited twice by the King of Belgium authorizing him to wear the Fourrageare and Six Battle Stars.

He then attended Alliance College and graduated from Gannon College in 1951 and won the Outstanding Cadet of Co. "C" in the ROTC. He again entered the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant on October 8, 1951 during the Korean War. He was assigned to the 7.4 Task Force as a Company Commander in Marshall Islands for the Hydrogen Bomb Test. In 1974 he was promoted to Colonel and in 1978 to Brigadier General. He was Deputy Commander of the 99th Army Reserve Command in Pittsburgh (99th ARCOM). He was responsible for bringing M.A.S.H. Units and small hospital units to Erie. He retired in 1982 after a total of 34 years of active and reserve duty. He was the plant engineer at Gannon University for 20 years.

Ernest was a member of the 911 Air Force Club, Pittsburgh, VFW Post 470, American Legion11, Elks Lodge 67, the Maennerchor and the Former East Erie Turners. He was the first graduate of Gannon to achieve the rank of General.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Edith (Smith) Ellis; a daughter, Stephana Ellis; two brothers, Bill and Nicholas Ellis; and three sisters, Irene Smith, Helen Bajuscik and Dorothy Prewitt.

Ernest is survived by his wife, Helen (Bennett) Ellis; a son, Ernest S. Ellis, II, wife Karen, of Erie; three stepsons, Jack Bennett of Weirton, W. Va., Darrell Bennett of Reno, Nev. and David Bennett, wife Becky, of Telford, Pa.; a brother, George Ellis, wife Irene, of Erie; a sister, Elizabeth Bogacik of Pittsburgh; six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to call on Friday from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street at Greengarden Boulevard, with a service by Elk's Lodge 67 at 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday at 11 a.m. with Msgr. William Biebel, followed by full military rites. Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Hospice, 1700 Peach Street, 16501 or Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, 130 West 8th Street, 16501.Condolences and photos may be sent at

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Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory
1595 West 38TH St.
Erie, PA 16508
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Nov. 14, 2013
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