Ellis Huddleston, 77, of Las Cruces, passed away on April 1, 2013. He was born on Sept. 10, 1935 in Snyder, Texas to Kathleen and Wright Huddleston. He is survived by his wife, Billie Huddleston; his children, Kim Huddleston of Las Cruces and Jim Huddleston (Debra) of New York City; his sister, Judy Huddleston Shaw (John) of Ruidoso and nephew, Jason Shaw (Kelly) and their children of Spring, Texas; and his grandchildren, Hailey and John Huddleston of New York City. Ellis was raised in Knapp, Texas and attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse. He met Billie, the love of his life, when he was 11 years old at Snyder Junior High School. He and Billie got married on Aug. 12, 1955 and celebrated their 57th anniversary this past August. When he was 19 years old, Ellis obtained his bachelor's degree in agronomy from Texas Tech, where he served as the ROTC Commander. He then went on to obtain a Ph.D in entomology in 1960 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. After serving as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he joined the entomology department at Texas Tech, where he taught for 15 years. In 1974, Ellis and his family moved to Las Cruces, when he became department head of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science at New Mexico State University. He assisted many graduate students with their theses and continued to mentor them the rest of his life. Much of Ellis's career was focused on reducing the impact insects have on rangeland and crops in order to improve global food production. During his career, Ellis provided entomological advice to U.S. and international government agencies and traveled all over the world as a professor, scientist and adviser on entomological matters. Among his many travels, he was a visiting scientist in Argentina in 1964, a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii in 1966, advised the United States Agency for International Development in Honduras in 1983, and lived with his wife in Senegal for a year in 1988 while assisting the USAID in combating Senegal's grasshopper infestation. Ellis published dozens of entomological papers and won numerous awards including the Texas Tech Spencer A. Wells award and the NMSU Fabian Garcia Founders' Award. Ellis retired from NMSU in 1998 and, since then, has enjoyed traveling and fishing with Billie and pursuing his many intellectual interests. He also founded and was the research director at Pesticide Application Technologies, where he and two researchers developed a hand-held pesticide sprayer which is designed to decrease the number of disease-carrying mosquitos in the developing world. For his work with the company, Ellis was one of 10 people honored in 2011 for outstanding innovation through the New Mexico Small Business Association Program. Ellis was a larger-than-life man who touched many people and will be deeply missed. A celebration of Ellis's life will be held from 1-3 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum on Thursday April 4, 2013. Funeral service will be held at Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder, Texas Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 2 p.m. with burial to follow at Ira Cemetery in Ira, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Ellis Huddleston Memorial Fund at the NMSU Foundation, PO Box 3590 Las Cruces, NM 88003. Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home, corner of Solano and Bowman Aves. To sign our local online guestbook, please log on to www.GetzCares.com.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Apr. 3, 2013