WENDELL - Bob (Charles Robert) Ellis, artist, writer, and activist died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Friday, Sept. 5, 2013.
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He was born 11/22/1933 in Washington, DC. Bob was a deeply loved member of the Wendell, MA, community who accomplished many things in his lifetime. He helped launch the Restorative Justice Movement in Franklin County in 1996, which involves both the victim and the offender in a process of healing the hurt that has been created by the crime. Bob was the president of the Bear Mountain Preservation Association which was formed to stop the state from re-routing Route 2 through the pristine forest of Bear Mountain in Wendell. The Full Moon Coffeehouse, the oldest non-profit coffeehouse in the state, was founded to raise funds for this effort. He was Director of the Kestrel Trust in Amherst which put many acres of land into conservation in Amherst.
His art appeared in many publications, including Massachusetts Wildlife and Canadian Wildlife. His illustrations also appeared in the Wild Earth Magazine, a publication grounded in the Deep Ecology Movement which believes that the human being is one of many members of Earth's community and that human needs do not outweigh the needs of others. Bob was often moved to tears by the insensitive nature of acts of destruction or violence against the natural world. Bob made the conscious decision to live his life simply in the woods of Wendell as an artist amongst his fellow creatures that would often come to his back door for a visit.
Bob was a veteran of the U.S. Army which he writes about in his first book: Nuked: A GI Memoir. There are two other books he wrote still to be published. Bob was a staunch advocate for peace. He joined the Peace Corps and went to Nigeria in the early 1960's. When he returned he raised money for famine relief.
Bob was the eldest of 14 children. He is survived by his brothers, William and Joseph, and his sisters, Harriet, Kitty, Virginia, Theresa and Rita, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
There will be a celebration of his life on his birthday, Nov. 22nd at the Deja Brew Pub in Wendell, MA.
Donations in his memory, can be made to the Mt. Grace Land Trust, 1461 Old Keene Road Athol, MA 01331.
Published in The Recorder on Sept. 13, 2013