- About Us
Edward Ellis Jr. died peacefully in the comfort of his own home on October 1, just shy of his 97th birthday.
Born in Grand Rapids, MI, on November 27, 1921, Jr.’s life was devoted to his beloved late wife, Josephine Gladys Skaff from Toledo, Ohio, and his three children, Marcia (Roy Pearson), Mary Lou (the late John Helderop III), and Edward Ellis III (fiancée Syboney), as well as his grandchildren, Michelle Ellis, Edward (Anna), Laura (Paul), Thomas and Samuel Helderop, and Matthew and Melanie Pearson (Dan). Jr.’s love and enthusiasm for all things family extended to his nephew, Mark E. Ellis, and his wife, Jennifer, and their four children, Sean (Christina), Stacy (Chris), Brett, and Abby. He also especially loved his niece, Patti Skaff, and her visits from Toledo.
Jr. attended St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church his entire life, serving on the Parish Council in the 1950’s-60’s. It was at a church convention where he met his wife of 66 years. Jr. proudly served as Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force in India during WWII and upon returning home attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in business/accounting. He spent his life working in small business, beginning in Grand Haven at A.J. Nejim & Company, a tobacco and candy wholesale business. His other businesses included E & K parking lots in downtown Grand Rapids, a car wash business on 28th Street, and he ran the Grand Haven and Holland State Park concessions for many, many summers.
In Jr.’s long, rewarding life he had many hobbies and interests that included restoring two model A’s, growing vegetables and fruits and canning them, building a large, complex train set, fixing everything and anything, investing in stocks, traveling, playing golf, and walking. He and Joey explored the world and enjoyed spending winters in their condo in the Phoenix area until they were in their 80’s.
Perhaps his greatest legacy is instilling in his children and grandchildren the importance of education above all else. Jr. emphasized and exemplified the value of working diligently at every task regardless how menial it may seem and taking pride in a job well done. He also encouraged his children and friends to invest wisely with the goal of financial security and independence.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his four brothers (Michael, Ernest, George and Kenneth), and by his parents, Geneva and Edward Ellis Sr.
Special thank you to Faith Hospice, Diane Gravelyn Brown and her family, and John George for their devotion and exceptional care.
Visitation will be held at the Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home on Friday Oct 5 from 2-4 and 6-8pm with a Trisagion service at 7pm. The funeral service will be held at 11am on Saturday, October 6 at St. George Orthodox Church, with visitation at the church from 10am to 10:45am.
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
334 LaGrave Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49503