Lee Floyd Ellis, 89, of Fishers, Indiana, passed away on August 3, 2023. He was born on November 22, 1933, in St. Edward, Nebraska, to the late Floyd and Esther Ellis.
Lee grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska and attended a one room schoolhouse until high school in St. Edward, Nebraska. He had a lifelong interest in gardening. He always had a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes that the kids knew they could pick cherry tomatoes and raspberries from.
He was married to his wife, Mary Jean, for 68 years. They met in college at Colorado State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology. He accepted his ROTC second lieutenant in the Army commission in 1955. He received his master’s degree from Nebraska University in microbiology 1957 and was called to active duty that same year. He was a laboratory officer stationed in Augsburg, Germany for two years. Upon returning to the United States, Lee accepted a research position with Eli Lilly and Company in Greenfield, Indiana. He later received his doctorate degree in virology from Michigan State University. His longstanding career as a microbiologist in the electron microscopy lab at Eli Lilly and Company spanned 32 years. He retired in 1993 and enjoyed several hobbies as well as many memorable family times.
Lee began his interest in wood turning in 1993 after years of furniture building. He became a local artist with his woodworking and was active in the CCA Gallery and Indiana Artisans. He went to many art shows and sold his lathe turned bowls and pepper mills. He was an active member and teacher in a local woodturner’s club.
He also enjoyed time at his lake house on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana teaching his grandchildren how to waterski and garden and fish. He was active in his church, East 91st Street Christian, serving as an elder as well as helping with numerous projects at the church. He enjoyed years of involvement in Bible Study Fellowship. He loved the Lord and demonstrated that love to others.
In 2006, Lee and Mary Jean moved to a house they built in Fishers, Indiana. He was loved by all his neighbors and their children. He walked his dachshunds in the neighborhood and was known by everyone. He always had a smile on his face and was ready to help everyone.
Lee is survived by his loving wife, Mary Jean; three children, Debbie Ellis Whitmire from Houston, TX, Tim Ellis from Lebanon, OH, and Betsy Ellis Deken from Fishers, IN; nine grandchildren, Rachel Sy, Anna Schnorr, Kenton David Whitmire, Jackie Maldonado, Gabriel Ellis, Dakota Ellis, Laura Deken, Kirsten Blake and Caroline Deken; ten great grandchildren, Felix, Flora, Phoenix, Johan, Adelaide, R.J., Keke, Sophia, Liam and Willow.
A Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 10, from 5 to 8 pm, and a Funeral Service on Friday, August 11, at 10 am, both held at East 91st Street Christian Church, 6049 E 91st St, Indianapolis, IN 46250. Lee’s final resting place will be at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
To view the livestream of the service, please click here.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in Lee’s name to City Church Greenfield, 400 S. Noble St, Greenfield, Indiana, 46140.