Minnie Lou Ellis, a long-time resident of Niceville, passed away Tuesday morning, Dec. 31, 2013, following a brief illness.
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Minnie Lou was born April 8, 1934 in Kinston, North Carolina, to Wilbur and Ruth Langston and grew up on the family's tobacco farm. She graduated from Contentnea School in 1952 and was named "neatest" and "most popular" among her senior class. Along with a list of her activities and accomplishments, a quote in her senior yearbook reads, "Good natured, generous, jolly, and clever. Her tongue, like a brooklet, runs on forever."
Friends and family would agree that those qualities marked Minnie Lou throughout her life.
She loved to sing, dance, and spend time in the company of her loved ones. For years, she was a regular on the dance floor at the Fort Walton Beach VFW and other social spots – always lighting up the room with her easy grace and generous smile.
Minnie Lou was also a gifted cook, whose repertoire ranged from fried mullet to chicken piccata. Family gatherings usually revolved around the kitchen where good food and happy times were always served up in equal measure.
Tender-hearted and caring, Minnie Lou particularly treasured her children and grandchildren; guiding them through life's triumphs and heartaches with her warm hug, heartfelt words and the unconditional love of a mother. The cornerstone of the family, she will be deeply missed.
Minnie Lou was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 42 years, Dr. Robert Smith Ellis, her son, Robert Jeffrey DeBruhl and grandson James Doyle "Jamie" Simmons Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Sharon Reaves (Tison) of Niceville, son Joe Ellis (Wendy) of Madison, Miss., and step-daughter, Alison DeBruhl of Shalimar; grandchildren John Jeffrey DeBruhl of West Palm Beach, Shannon Smith of Royal Oak, Mich., Candice Gorynski of St. Michael, Minn., Tiger Reaves of Niceville, Devan DeBruhl of Freeport and William Ellis, Meghan Ellis, Megan Brown and Tyler Brown, all of Madison Miss.; five great-grandchildren and close family friend Dr. Michael Miller, whom Minnie Lou thought of as a son.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, January 3, 2014 at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home in Niceville. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. at Heritage Gardens with interment to follow at Heritage Gardens Cemetery.
The family would like to extend special thanks to the caring and compassionate staffs of Twin-Cities Hospital and the Manor at Bluewater Bay.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the
. You may express condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com.
Heritage Gardens Funeral Home & Cemetery
2201 N Partin Dr
Niceville, FL 32578
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Jan. 2, 2014