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Eldon Ellis

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Eldon Ellis Obituary
Eldon E. Ellis, M.D.

July 2, 1922 - June 15, 2014

It is with both sadness and joy that his family shares the passing of its patriarch, Eldon E Ellis, M.D, in the early morning hours of June 15: sad because he is no longer with us, and joy that his lifelong-journey is complete and he is now with the Lord.

Eldon cherished his faith and his family. He was dedicated to his chosen profession as a surgeon and he was a humanitarian, believing that to whom much is given, much is expected, Luke 12:48.

He was born in Washington, Indiana into a family of ministers where his Christian faith was nurtured and guided his life until his death. His mother and father both were ministers as were his two older brothers, whose children form the very large and extraordinary Ellis family in Indianapolis. He attended Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City for over 50 years, where he served in many leadership positions, taught adult Sunday school and sang in the choir. Known for his warmth and courtly bearing, he was an encourager to all and a mentor to many.

Eldon was married for 20 years to his University of Rochester Medical School classmate, Dr. Irene Clay; they had four children who survive him: Paul Ellis (Andie) and their two children Rachel Hammer (Karl Peter) and David Ellis; Kathe Ellis (Michael), her children, Genevieve Holland (deceased) mother of Stephen and Ryan and Cassandra Holland; Jon Ellis and Sharon Ellis, her son Aram (Alia) and their two children, Mikaela and Annika.

After Irene's death, Eldon married Priscilla Strong, a nurse anesthetist, whom he had met on the ship SS Hope and who predeceased him. They were married for 20 years and had two children, Buck Ellis (Chantelle), parents of Tanner, Dakota and Zoe and Rebecca Jones (VK), parents of Vincent and Caeden.

Ginny Michael Sproul became his wife in 1992 and her sons, Ted Sproul and Kevin Sproul (Kristy) and their children, Kyle and Katie, became part of his large family.

Eldon was a Naval Corpsman during WW II and was loaned to the Army in the Korean War where he was stationed in Germany as a surgeon.

Professional Life: Dr. Ellis came to Redwood City in 1955 after doing an internship and residency at Stanford Hospital in San Francisco. He did the first aortic graft at Sequoia Hospital in 1956. He was a General and Thoracic Surgeon, Sequoia Hospital, 1955-1987; a Partner, Redwood Medical Clinic, 1955-1987; an elected Director, Sequoia Hospital District Board, 1974-82; awarded the Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Redwood City, 1987 and the Distinguished Service Award, San Mateo County Medical Association, 2005.

Community and International Volunteer: he co-founded and was President, Sequoia Hospital Foundation, Redwood City and was on its Board of Directors, 1983-1992; President, San Mateo County Heart Association, 1961-63; President, California Heart Association, 1965-66 and Vice-President, American Heart Association, 1974-75. He was awarded the AHA Gold Heart Award in 1975. He was President, San Mateo County Medical Association, 1969-70; Traveled to Peru, Ecuador and Guinea on three voyages of the SS HOPE, a medical teaching and training ship and served as Alumni President and member of its Board for the rest of his life.

True to his generation, the "Greatest," Eldon's life was a model of excellence, strength, wisdom, perseverance and humility.

Eldon was laid to rest with his local family in attendance on June 23. A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, August 8, at 2pm at Peninsula Covenant Church, Redwood City.

His family wishes to thank Vivian, Shema and their staff at Complete Senior Living, Kady, Cassandra, Zanele, Yardley, Ken, Seini and Sesilia.

Donations in his memory
may be made to:

Project HOPE
255 Carter Hall Lane
P. O. Box 250
Millwood, VA 22646 or
Sequoia Hospital Fndn
170 Alameda de las
Pulgas Redwood City
CA 94062

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from June 27 to June 29, 2014
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