Don Ellis died at home in his sleep early Tuesday morning, August 15, shortly after family members had said their last goodbyes. He was 91. Don was being treated by Covenant Care Hospice for advanced Alzheimer’s.
Donald Raymond Ellis was born December 21, 1925 in Merced to Raymond and Mabel Ellis. He attended elementary school and Merced High School until his family moved to Fresno, where he graduated from Fresno High School.
Don attended the University of California at Berkeley before enlisting in the military. He was in the air training command of the United States Air Force, stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, then at Amarillo Air Force Base in Amarillo, Texas.
After being discharged, Don spent his summer’s working at the El Soyo Ranch in Wesley learning more about boat motors, and while working as a hardware sales clerk, he met his wife, Mary Ellen Olson on a blind date. She was an assistant editor at the Merced Sun-Star. They were married April 19, 1959 in Merced.
Soon after their wedding, the couple moved to Turlock where Don was employed at the Roy M. Day Co., where he was in charge of packaging beans. He later worked as a manager for Home Lumber Yard in Turlock, Central Valley Fence, and Lumber Co. in Delhi.
Don spent his remaining years before his retirement in the maintenance department at Covenant Village in Turlock and attended Bethel Temple Church in Turlock avidly.
Among his other hobbies, Don enjoyed salmon fishing trips. His special interests, however, were dove, duck, and goose hunting and making people laugh. In his final years, he spent many hours out on the patio feeding the doves and tending to his garden.
Don leaves behind his wife, Mary Ellen; his son, Patrick Ellis of Turlock; his daughter, Kathleen McGinnis and son-in-law, Gary McGinnis; and his two grandchildren, Kellie McGinnis and Julie McGinnis of Turlock.
A viewing will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22, at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock, followed by a graveside service at 10 a.m. at Turlock Memorial Park.
The family would like to thank Covenant Care Hospice and all the employees for their special dedication and service to our loved one.