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Robert Loren Ellison


1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert Loren Ellison Obituary
July 12, 1931 ~ Aug. 31, 2018
Robert Loren (Bob) Ellison died August 31, 2018 after courageously battling Glioblastoma brain cancer.
Bob was born in Salt Lake City July 12, 1931, the only child of Loren James Ellison and Thera Jane Cordon Ellison Cox. As a Salt Lake boy, Bob rode his bike throughout the avenues and City Creek Canyon trails long before mountain bikes were invented. He rode to the Deseret Gym where he learned to play handball, even teaching himself to write left-handed to increase his ambidexterity on the court. Handball and bicycling were only two of the sports Bob enjoyed. He loved skiing on water and snow, boating, hiking, racquetball, table tennis, and tennis. He could still handily beat his grandsons at table tennis. Most recently, he acquired an interest in Pickle Ball which he was playing with his family only days before he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Bob loved photography and always had a camera with him. His home is full of his photos. He was an avid reader, always with a stack of books nearby.
Bob acquired a strong work ethic as a young boy in his dad's OP Skaggs grocery stores, sweeping floors, delivering groceries, and learning the departments from the ground up. Later, following a couple of years at the University of Utah, interrupted by the Korean War and a stint of active duty in the Utah Air National Guard, Bob again worked for his father. This time, he was a sales representative for his father's newly invented and manufactured Miracle Trim edger/trimmer (a forerunner of the Weed Whacker). Bob always had a passion for reading and learning, so he left retail behind and returned to the University of Utah where he obtained his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology with minors in Sociology and Economics. Following graduation, he left Salt Lake for Detroit to work for Ford Motor Company, but missing the mountains, the air, and most especially his two young daughters, Bob was eager to return to Salt Lake when offered the opportunity to help establish and serve as Research Director of The Institute for Behavioral Research in Creativity (IBRIC), a position he held for the next thirty years. During his years at IBRIC, Bob and his team made significant contributions to industry, government, and education. During that same thirty years, Bob served as Adjunct Research Professor of the University of Utah Department of Psychology where he taught and advised graduate students, resulting in many lifelong friendships. It should also be noted that Bob was a member in good standing of the Moab Gang.
Bob married his college sweetheart, Fay Satterfield, and together they had two wonderful daughters. Though later divorced, they remained united in offering love and care for their daughters. Bob later married Karen Rynio, the love of his life, and they had two wonderful sons. Bob and Karen not only worked together every day professionally, they loved their life together and with their children. Bob, Karen, and the four kids had many good times and adventures while camping and exploring Utah and caring for a family orchard in Torrey. And, of course, no one could forget the flash flood in Cathedral Valley.
Bob is survived by his wife of 53 years, Karen R. Ellison; his daughter-in-law and three of his children of whom he was extremely proud, in particular of what fine parents they each are: Cris Ellison of SLC, Barry Ellison of Moab, and Brian Ellison and Nicole Parara-Ellison of SLC; as well as six dearly loved grandchildren: Stuart Hayashi, Rob Cheuvront, Evan Ellison, Isaac Ellison, Bryce Ellison, and Maya Ellison. He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Julie Ellison
An informal celebration will be held in Bob's honor from 11-1 at the Orangerie in Red Butte Garden on September 23. In lieu of flowers, Bob would have preferred donations to The Road Home (where he volunteered for many years) or to cancer research.
The family would like to thank the wonderful people at St. Mark's Hospital, the Acute Rehabilitation Center, and the Living Care Center for the kind and respectful care and understanding they gave Bob during his last days.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Sept. 12 to Sept. 16, 2018
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