William Arland “Bill” Ellis, Jr., 96, of McAlester, died Sunday, September 8, 2013, at is Residence.
Services 10 a.m., Thursday, at Wetumka City Cemetery with the Rev. W. Lee “Dub” Brown officiating. Burial will follow at Wetumka City Cemetery.
Arrangements are under direction of Bishop Funeral Service.
He was born October 10, 1916, at Ft. Towson, to William A. “Andy” Ellis and Frances Pear (Williams) Ellis. He grew up at Weleetka, where he graduated from high school in 1934. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1936 and received a commission from enlisted status in 1943. He retired in 1960 as Public Works Officer of the then U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot, in McAlester, after 24 years of active military service at sea and ashore.
He immediately enrolled at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater to pursue a college degree and a second career as a journalist. His second retirement in 1984 was from Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, where he was Public Information Officer for the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture. His articles and photographs have been widely published locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally.
In 1939, he married Emma Frances Lee, from Weleetka she preceded him in death in 1957. In 1966, he married Juanita V. (Leeper) Hampton, at Wetumka. During 1966-1969, he was a reporter for McAlester News-Capital.
Ellis and his camera were almost inseparable as he photographed people, places and things throughout the world as he and his wife traveled to find beauty and the unusual.
He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of AF&AM Masonic Lodge 550 of McAlester, an Elk and an active member of the First Baptist Church, McAlester, where he served as reporter and member of the travel committee for the PrimeTimers organization.
He is survived by his step-son, Rhon Hampton, of McAlester; step-daughter, Susan Berry and her husband, Kenneth, of McAlester; granddaughter, Renee (Berry) Kannady and of Oklahoma City, her husband, Christopher; great-grandchildren, Kannon and Shelby Kannady of Oklahoma City.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Juanita Ellis and a grandson, Bruce Berry.