Donald A. Ellis 1923-2014 Donald A. Ellis, AKA "Don" "Dad" or "Papa," died peacefully on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. At 90, he fought to the end and we miss him dearly already. We will miss his on-going "projects" (seldom willing to sit down for a day), his grit, his integrity, his tender-loving care and concern for Mom, and most of all, his stories and his sense of humor. We can see him in heaven with his golf clubs slung over his shoulder, a fishing pole in hand, wearing a SF Giants shirt and his SF 49er jacket. You are one of God's special angels, Dad. Don was born to Mrytle (Gonnie) DeVecchi and Phillip (Papa) Ellis, Sr. on November 26, 1923, in Sunnyvale, California. They moved to Clearlake in 1927 and Don has been a resident for 86 years. He attended Burns Valley Elementary and Lower Lake High School. Don married Patricia (Pat) Reichert in 1944, celebrating their 69th anniversary last December. Don served in the US Navy Air Corps during WWII, 1942-1946, on a B-24 bomber on Tinian Island and Iwo Jima. Returning to Lake County, he became a walnut rancher with his father-in-law, Walter E. Reichert. Don belonged to the Lakeshore Lions Club for over ten years and was involved in many charitable activities, including the construction of the original firehouse in Lower Lake during the early 1950s. He was a volunteer Lower Lake Fireman for over ten years and Commissioner of the Lower Lake Volunteer Fire Department. He coached high school basketball for three years and was one of two original founders, along with Ted Weiper, of youth baseball (Little and Pony Leagues) in the Lower Lake and Clearlake, 1958. They constructed the original Little League field in Clearlake. Don coached youth baseball for four years. He was a Konocti Unified School District Trustee and Board President for twenty-four years, 1948-1972. He served as Chairman of the Lake County Grand Jury from 1967-1968 and was Lake County Supervisor from 1972-1976. Don was a former member and past president of the Lake County Air Pollution Resource Board and one of the original founders and directors of Lake Savings and Loan. He was a member of the Clearlake Masonic Lodge. He also received the Stars of Lake County Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. Don was a member and past President of the Redbud Community Hospital Advisory Board and fought with perseverance to save our local hospital, which endures today as St. Helena Hospital, Clearlake. We found it fitting and are extremely grateful that his last days were there where he and our family were treated with the utmost care and support from the entire staff. Don is survived by his wife, Pat Ellis; son, Steve Ellis (Carol), Lower Lake; daughter, Donna Lutz (Chet), Victor, MT; grandchildren, Kevin Ellis (April), Kelseyville, Kristi Witt (Justin), Healdsburg, Amy Lutz-Wilson, Elk Grove, Chad Lutz (Maricel), and Steve Lutz (Atria), San Diego; great-grandchildren, Kyle, Kalee and "baby on the way" Ellis, Sophia Witt, Austin Lutz, Seth Lutz, and Briella Lutz; sisters, Shirley Woodward, Lower Lake and Burdette Pontier, San Jose. Preceded in death by brothers, Phil Ellis, Jr. and Keith Ellis; many extended family members; loving caregiver, Tammy Eeds, Clearlake; best friend, Bud Boyce, Lower Lake, CA; and man's best friend, Lucca. A memorial service will be held for Don Ellis on Friday, March 14, at 11 a.m., Jones and Lewis Mortuary, Lower Lake, followed by a reception at the Brick Hall in Lower Lake. Don has been a long-time member of his church in Lower Lake. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to his church: Lower Lake Community United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 516, Lower Lake, CA 95457. Please sign Don's guest book at www.jonesandlewis.com or www.legacy.com.
Jones & Lewis Clear Lake Memorial Chapel
16140 Main St PO Box 284 Lower Lake, CA 95457
Published in Lake County Record-Bee from Mar. 8 to Mar. 14, 2014