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Russell Ellis

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Russell Ellis Obituary
December 31, 1920 to July 16, 2012, Russell W. Ellis was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on December 31, 1920, the son of the late Lila Fair Webb and Artemas Russell Ellis. He grew up in Winchester, MA, the oldest of six boys. Mr. Ellis mother was 35 years old when she gave birth to her first of six sons. Mr. Ellis attended the Winchester Public Schools until his 10th grade when he completed his high school education at the Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge. He entered Harvard College graduating with the class of 1942. He played on Harvards tennis team and was a member of the Pi Eta club. World War II began in the middle of Mr. Elliss senior year at Harvard. As a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), he entered military service immediately following graduation. He was assigned to a field artillery battalion of the 94th Infantry Division in France with which he served for over three years. After the war ended the 94th was given a non-military assignment in Czechoslovakia. During this time, Russ traveled on a freight train to see Paris. This is where he met, and later became engaged to, Milly Kapherr who was working at the Officers Club. They were married in Indianapolis on June 6, 1946. After returning from Europe, the couple settled in Cambridge, MA where Mr. Ellis attended the Harvard Business School. Milly Ellis saw a notice about the Experiment in International Living on a poster which resulted in their both leading a student group to Holland. In 1948, they moved to Putney, Vermont with their baby daughter and Mr. Ellis began working as the business manager for the Experiment. They raised three children in Putney. After 29 years at The Experiment, Russ resigned and took a job as a Trust officer with The Vermont National Bank. When he retired in 1990, he and Milly Ellis began living half the year in Fort Myers, Florida and half the year in their Putney home. Ten years later they moved into Shellpoint Retirement Community, also in Fort Myers, where they made many new friends and enjoyed numerous volunteer activities on nearby Sanibel Island. Russ passions were tennis, dancing and writing. He began playing tennis at an early age and played on teams in high school and at Harvard University. One of Russs favorite tennis experiences occurred while in Czechoslovakia after the war. Ellis assembled a US Army tennis team which was invited by a Czech tennis club to compete in Prague. Russ attained a ranking of #9 in the New England senior mens division.. He continued to play tennis well into his 80s when a shoulder injury prompted a switch to golf. Russ and Milly loved to dance together and helped organize the West Hill Cabaret in Putney. Many years later, they helped organize the first dance at Shellpoint Retirement Community in Florida. He wrote extensively about his family, travels and tennis. During the last few years of his life when Russ was less physically active, the time spent reading increased; the daily New York Times and historical novels were favorites. He was a big fan of Fred Astaire and the classic movies. One of Russ last requests was to listen to Bing Crosby. Mr. Ellis greatest passion was his family. He lost his wife Milly Ellis of 63 years on July 17th, 2009. He is survived by three brothers, Emmons Ellis of Winchester, MA, Robert Ellis of Marshfield, MA and Stearns Ellis of San Francisco CA. He is also survived by his daughter, Jaki Ellis and her husband, Andy Cook, of Brunswick, Maine, his son, Peter Ellis, and his wife Maureen Scanlon, of Austin, Texas, and his daughter, Christine Ellis, and her husband, Marc Cohen, of Putney, Vermont. Also surviving are his three grandchildren, Jason Cook of Irvine, CA, married to Sonia Cook; Dylan Cook, of South Portland, ME and Elizabeth Ellis Cohen of Putney, VT; two great granddaughters, Isabella and Roxanna Cook of Irvine, CA. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Donald Ellis, a lifelong resident of Winchester, and William Ellis. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Putney Public Library 55 Main Street, Putney, VT 05346 or the Brattleboro Outing Club, PO Box 335, Brattleboro, VT 05301. A memorial service celebrating Mr. Ellis life will be held on August 11th at 2pm at his home at 89 Watt Rd., in Putney, VT. A reception will follow. All are welcome to attend.

Published in The Winchester Star from July 31 to Aug. 7, 2012
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