He was born Feb. 28, 1933, to Harold and Pauline (Harmon) Hartman in Kosciusko County, Ind.
Ellis was a truck driver for Hulls Transfer for many years. He retired from Mike Gill’s Auto Parts after many years of service, including building their huge wrecker.
Ellis was an avid hunter, fisherman and shuffleboard player. He loved to shoot trap and skeet, but also gained an interest in muzzle loading and Western shooting. He was a 4-H instructor for shooting for many years. Ellis also accompanied the third graders to Fort Wayne for the Shrine Circus each year, following the school buses in the Mike Gill tow truck.
Ellis was also an enthusiastic race fan and loved watching NASCAR and Indy cars. He was well known at the Warsaw Speedway, where he raced and also built cars for others. In addition, he was a member of the Pierceton American Legion, Post 258 and the National Rifle Association.
He is survived by his longtime companion: Jane Rife, Atwood, Ind.; four daughters: Pattie (Mike) Laney, South Bend, Ind.; Sue (Russ) Woodcock, Warsaw; Jackie Gilfillian, Minnetonka, Minn.; Julie (Rodney) Shilling, Warsaw; a sister: Dori (Larry) Hale, Middletown, Ind.; a brother: Thomas (Pat) Hartman, Warsaw; seven grandchildren: Jacob Neukam and Kaleb Neukam, both of South Bend, Ind.; Renee Stahl, Warsaw; Sean Woods, Huntington, Ind.; Vickie (Dr. Mosi) Bennett, Minnesota; Elizabeth Shilling and Kaytie Shilling, Warsaw; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Warsaw.
Memorial contributions may be made to Reins of Life, 55200 Quince Rd., South Bend, IN 46619–4403.
To sign the guest register or leave online condolences, visit the McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapels website.