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Great Falls —John Wesley Ellis, 80, of Great Falls, passed away Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from natural causes at his home.
Visitation will be held Monday, December 16, 2013 from 5 pm to 8 pm at O'Connor Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 11 am at the Mayn Cemetery in White Sulphur Springs.
John was born October 10, 1933 in White Sulphur Springs. He graduated from Great Falls High School in 1951. After graduation John served in the United States Navy. He loved to fly and earned his private pilot's license while living in Memphis TN. He retired as an Air Traffic Controller with the FAA at Malmstrom AF Base.
While serving with the Navy in Memphis, he met and married Martha Bennett and had two children. They later divorced in 1965. In 1970, he married Nancy Kohler and they made their home in Great Falls and together had two sons. They were happily married until Nancy's death in 1991.
John's greatest interests were in raising his family, outdoor activities, and having coffee with the "crew" where they swapped current events and solved worldly problems. He was also very proud of his pioneer roots where his family homesteaded in Rock Creek (Ellis Canyon) near the Smith River. He instilled his love of his family history and beautiful land to his children.
John is survived by his sons, Brandon (Courtney) Ellis and Justin Ellis, both of Great Falls; John "Wesley" (Linda) Ellis of Acworth GA; daughter Sherry Ellis (Robert Nixon) of Missoula ; brother William (Mary) Ellis of Lolo. He is also survived by several nieces and a nephew. John took great pride in all of his grandchildren, Brian (Katie) Nixon, Laura Nixon, Zachary Ellis, Haley Ellis, Kaelyn Ellis, Madelyn Ellis, Corbin John Ellis and great granddaughter, Madison.
John was preceded in death by his parents, William and Ella; sister Ruth and beloved wife, Nancy.
Condolences can be left online at www.oconnorfuneralhome.com
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Dec. 15, 2013