Donald Ellis, 88, of Idaho Falls, passed away Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, at his home of causes incident to age. He was under the care of his loving family and Aspen Home Health & Hospice.
Dad was born Feb. 7, 1925, in Shelley to Roy Ellis and Lillian Lamb Ellis. He grew up and attended schools in Shelley. As a young man, Dad had many jobs. He was a logger, a shepherd, a farmer and worked at the Shelley Sugar Factory.
He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II as a ball turret gunner. He told us many times about seeing Europe from the belly of a B17. He served as a staff sergeant until his honorable discharge.
Dad moved to Macks Inn after his Army service, where he met and fell in love with Bonnie May Wanlass. They were married Jan. 1, 1947, in Teton, Idaho. Their marriage was solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on Feb. 14, 1957. They made their home in Idaho Falls, where they raised their five children: Shannon, Shawn, Cary, Wendy and Kitt.
Dad got a job with the Atomic Energy Commission (now INL) driving bus to the site every day. He was a very good driver and received the Million Mile Award for safe driving. He made a good living for his family and retired from that job March 2, 1989, after 38 years.
An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dad served in several bishoprics and as a ward missionary. He had a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor that continued right up to the day he passed away.
Dad had a talent for taking a piece of wood and turning it into a masterpiece. Over the years he created many beautiful vases, candle holders and consecrated oil holders, or "urns," as he called them. Hunting for the wood to make them was an adventure. Dad saw the potential in the wood that none of the rest of us could see.
Don is survived by his sons, Shawn Ellis and Cary (Kelly) Ellis, both of Idaho Falls; daughters, Wendy (Blake) Maxfield of Idaho Falls and Kitt (Jeff) West of Littleton, Colo.; brother, Doyle (Renae) Ellis of Idaho Falls; 14 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Bonnie; a daughter, Shannon (Joe) Stewart; six siblings; and two grandsons, Phillip Wellman and Cody West.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Idaho Falls LDS Mountain View Ward, 1450 Mountain View Lane, with Bishop Randall Wheeler officiating. The family will visit with friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be in Ririe-Shelton Cemetery. Military rites will be performed by the Bonneville County Veterans Memorial Team and Idaho Honor Guard.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.