Dr. Bill Ellis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dr. Bill D. Ellis, 83, of Shawnee, Okla., passed from this earthly life to his eternal home Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009.

He was born March 3, 1926, in Hugo, Okla., to Thomas Jefferson and Bertha Geneva Ellis. He graduated from Hugo High School in 1944. Bill married the former Mattie O. Hill on Sept. 4, 1945, in Denver.

Bill served his country in the Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946, serving in the Philippines after the close of World War II. It was in the Philippines that he received his call to serve the lord in ministry.

He earned a B.A. from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1953, a B.D. in 1958 and a Th.M. in 1960 from Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He completed the D.Min. in 1978 at Luther Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bill began his ministry service in 1948 at Criner Baptist Church near Lindsay, Okla., and retired in 1997 at First Baptist Church in Jackson.

He also pastored at Trinity Baptist Church in Hugo; First Baptist Church in Loco, Okla.; Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta, Okla.; First Baptist Church in Chaffee, Mo.; Emmanuel Baptist Church in Ardmore, Okla.; and Lynwood Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau, where he served 20 years.

Bill was an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee and also shared his love of Christ through a local jail ministry.

After his love for his lord and his family, one of Bill's greatest joys was flying. He earned his private pilot's license at age 16 and was always a "happy soul" while in the air.

Bill was a loving husband, caring father and proud papa to seven grandchildren and nine (soon to be 10) great-grandchildren.

He was deeply loved and respected by a large extended family and made lifelong friends at every pastorate. He spent many hours at his computer staying connected with family and friends.

In his final years he produced Mattie's life story, his own life story and a digest of Bible truths that inspired many.

Many people said Bill was the kindest man they ever knew, and one of his current neighbors told friends she lived next door to a living angel. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mattie, his parents, nine brothers and a sister.

Survivors include three daughters and their husbands, Suzann and Jerry Wilson of Gardner, Kan.; Lou Ann and Ronnie Tipps of Ardmore; Sheryl and Gary Shutt of Stillwater, Okla.; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

A home-going celebration will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Immanuel Baptist Church, with Dr. Todd Fisher officiating. Burial will be in Kingfisher Cemetery in Kingfisher, Okla.

Walker Funeral Service in Shawnee is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials may be made to Heartland Home Health and Hospice Care, 3700 N. Kickapoo, Shawnee, OK 74804.