On Dec. 23, 2016 surrounded by family, Ellis passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Ellis was 80 years old. Ellis Williams was born in Uncle Floyd and Aunt Lena (Crosby) Ellis’ house in Ekalaka, Mont. on March 16, 1936. Ellis was the first of five children born to Georgia (Crosby) and Lester Williams.
Ellis attended McNarie School and graduated from high school at CCHS in Ekalaka in 1954. He graduated from Montana State University, Bozeman, with both a bachelors and masters degree in Agriculture. He served two years in the US army, 1957-1958, in Germany, France, and England with the Heavy Construction Engineers.
Ellis was married to Shirley Kautzmann in Ekalaka in 1962. To that union a daughter, Georgia Kay, was born April 17, 1964, and a son, Kent Ellis, born August 31, 1965. Shirley and Ellis later divorced.
Ellis worked for 30 years for Montana State University as a County Agent, retiring early in 1995. His career was spent at Big Timber, Mont., Sidney, Mont., Lakeview, Ore., and for the last 12 years at Baker, Mont. in Carter and Fallon Counties.
In 1995 Ellis married Andrea (LeSuer) Pagenkopf in Bozeman Mont. Ellis always had a few cows and some land southwest of Ekalaka. Before Ellis and Andrea married, they purchased a ranch in the Sheep Mountains, 35 miles southeast of Ekalaka. Ellis moved there in 1995, and Andrea joined him full time in 1997. They operated this place along with the Ekalaka property, running a cow-calf-yearling operation.
After short vacations to Southeast Arizona, they built a home at Pearce-Sunsights Arizona about 80 miles southeast of Tucson. The home was on the fourth green of an 18-hole golf course. They continued to spend six months of the year at the ranch and six months of the year in Arizona.
Ellis is survived by his wife Andrea; sisters Peggy (Ernest) Tooke, Marilyn Beth (Tom) Figg; brother David (Lynn); daughter Kay (Dana) Crosby, son Kent (Chris) Williams, step daughter Sarah (Robert) Denkewalter, grandchildren Chrys (Johanna) Crosby, Chris (Judd) Entzel, Colleen, Clanci, Tudie, Ritchie and Malia Crosby; Elizabeth and Amanda Williams, Kathryn and Alexander Denkewalter; great grandchildren Ben, Stella and Alexander Entzel; along with numerous nieces and nephews. Ellis was preceded in death by his parents Georgia and Lester Williams, infant sister Jane Williams, Uncle Johnnie Williams and grandson Ben Crosby.
Family received friends on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 at Stevenson and Son’s Funeral Home in Miles City. A funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka with Lloyd Townsend officiating. Military Honors will be provided by the American Legion and VFW Post of Ekalaka.
Should friends desire, memorials can be made to Camp Needmore in Ekalaka, Ekalaka or Camp Crook Fire Departments. Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting stevensonandsons.com.