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Ellis Milam

Captain Ellis Milam "Old Double E", retired 1991 - The Deputy Chief position he earned in 1986, was awarded post retirement). Ellis was born June 15, 1935 in Houston, Texas and entered into eternal rest - peacefully with his adoring wife beside him and praying with him, October 24, 2012. He is preceded in death by his father, Ellis, brother, James, and nephew, Ricky.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Stella Steely Milam, his mother, Josephine Laura Milam, and 5 children, Joseph, Andrew (wife Marlene), Deborah M. Harkcom (husband Jeff Harkcom), Chris and Greg (wife Kim), grandchildren, Kellie M. Gwosdz Perrone, Jacob and Jessica Harkcom, Walker & Lucas Milam, Kierstyn Walker and great grandchildren, Aeylah & Makena Gwosdz, Jonah & Joey Perrone, and Dezirae and Nickolettee Clemons. He is also survived by his brother Frank (wife Jeanne), sister, Jacqueline Plummer; and numerous nieces, nephews, and many relatives.
He was a devoted and loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, cousin and uncle. He always had a twinkle in his eyes and a ready story to share with family and friends.
Pallbearers are sons Joseph, Andrew, Chris and Greg, and grandsons, Jacob Harkcom and Walker Milam.
Ellis dedicated his life to his fellow man by his public service. As a 34 year veteran of the Houston Police Department he served in and commanded numerous divisions. His crowning achievements were developing HPD's SWAT team and reorganizing the Helicopter Division.
While just a Lieutenant in 1975, at the personal request of then Chief of Police, Carol Lynn - with whom he had no personal affiliation - he was asked to organize and train a Special Weapons & Tactical Squad for HPD. He was sent to train with the Los Angeles Police Department (the most respected SWAT of the time), the FBI in Quantico, VA as well as SMU and Sam Houston State Universities criminal justice departments. He created SWAT for Houston and was allowed to personally select each member of the new squad. In 1978, just three years later, the FBI ranked HPD's SWAT #1 in the nation.
In 1982 he was again tasked with creating a more effective squad at risk of disbandment - the Helicopter Division. Having no experience as a pilot he knew he had to become one. While working to obtain his license he was able to reorganize the division, saved millions in his annual budget by renewing numerous fuel, maintenance and other contracts in favor of the City of Houston, all while providing more effective "Eyes in the Sky" to protect his "Brothers in Blue". A few years into his command of the helicopter division he was elected president of his chapter of the Airborne Law Enforcement Assoc.
Certainly many lives, civilian and police, were saved by his calling to serve.
He retired from HPD in 1991 to take a position as a division head for the City of Houston's Finance Department from which he retired in 2002 after re-writing and creating several new policies and manuals for licensed commercial vehicles serving Houston's citizenry. He was a member of The International Police Officers Association and served as treasurer of the local branch until his ill health prevented him from doing so.
Ellis was a member of Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston and St. Thomas Catholic Church in Huntsville, TX. He was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 7153 and co-sharer in all things pro-life with his wife Stella.
A Wake followed by the Rosary will be held on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 8:00 P.M. at Annunciation Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 10:00A.M.at Annunciation Catholic Church. Interment will be at Black Jack Cemetery, Huntsville, Texas,November 3, 2012 at 2:00 P.M.
In lieu of flowers Memorial donations may be made to: Foundation for Life,10900 Northwest Freeway, Suite 112, Houston, TX 77092 or Houston Coalition for Life, P.O. Box 301094, Houston, Texas 77230. Of course a donation to a Police organization of your choice is also welcome. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at http://www.shmfh.com


Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 31, 2012
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