James Lee “Jim” Ellis, son of Roy and Dorothy (McWilliams) Ellis, was born Nov. 6, 1939, in Weldon, and passed from this life, surrounded by his family, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines at 79 years.
Jim lived most of his life in Weldon. He graduated from Weldon High School in 1958. He married Mary Margaret Vawn on Dec. 15, 1961, in Weldon.
Jim was a very caring and helpful man, always willing to help out anyone however he could. He was a family man who loved having family together, especially his grandkids and great- grandkids. Jim enjoyed the outdoors, hunting with his sons and grandsons, camping, traveling and his nightly “deer drives” with Mary. He loved watching the sports of his grandchildren and the Iowa teams. He had an elaborate Pegasus collection, and he built numerous jigsaw puzzles. He was talented at painting and drawing, his family cherished receiving many hand-drawn birthday cards over the years.
Jim was proud of the town of Weldon. He helped start the Weldon Fire Department, Weldon Little League, was on the Weldon Depot Committee and helped with Weldon Kids’ Days. Jim enjoyed racing of all kinds, and in early years, he drove his own race car at dirt tracks in the area. He enjoyed watching races, traveling to NASCAR races with his boys, stock car races at Corning and sprint car races in Knoxville, always cheering for a Ford. He was a member of Weldon Christian Church and served as an elder.
Jim was a hard worker and an excellent welder, working at Eagle Iron Works and Ford Implement in Des Moines. He also served as a Clarke County Sheriff’s Deputy and on the Sheriff’s Posse. He owned and operated a grocery wholesale business with his friend and partner, Charles Pearcy. He owned and operated the Weldon Service station. Later he returned to welding, working for McLander and Mueller Company in Osceola, until his health forced early retirement.
Jim was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend who will be greatly missed.
Relatives preceding Jim in death were his parents, granddaughter Sarah Diane Ellis and nephew Adam Simmerman.
Jim leaves to cherish his memory his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Ellis; son Scott (Brenda) Ellis of Weldon, daughter Jaime (Kevin) Roberts of Corning and son Thadd (Kara) Ellis of Waukee; brother Jack (Sandy) Ellis of Osceola, sister Joanne (Larry) Simmerman of Moberly, Missouri, and brother John Ellis of Alaska; granddaughter Josey (Dave) Provost of Urbandale, grandson Billy (Alexia) Ellis of Osceola, grandson Bowan Ellis of Weldon, granddaughter Randi (Juan) Macias of Colorado Springs, Colorado, granddaughter Bailey Browne of Osceola, granddaughter Abby Ellis of Waukee and grandson Austin Ellis of Waukee; great-granddaughters, Erin and Harper Ellis of Osceola; other relatives and many friends.
Celebration of his life was 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Kale Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., in Osceola. Family greeted friends from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service Thursday at funeral home. Interment of his cremains will be in Chaney Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be directed to his family for a fitting tribute, which will include a memorial bench to placed in Weldon. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.kalefuneralhome.com.