O.L. “Ole”Ellis Jr. age 85 of Chipley, Fl. passed from this life on September 12, 2021. His life was marked by service to his nation, his community, and his family.
Ole was born on a family farm near Carthage, Mississipi, on January 2, 1936, to O.L. Ellis, Sr., and Tessie Lee Gibson Ellis. Ole is a graduate of Vigor High School in Prichard, Albama. He attended Marion Military Institute and then transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi. He was honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate and earned a degree in marketing.
Ole married his high school sweetheart, Bertha “Bebe” Chunn on August 23, 1957. They were married for sixty-four years.
Upon his college graduation, Ole was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He later attended flight school and became a pilot. Ole served in staff and command positions around the United States, Europe, and Vietnam. Ole served two tours of duty in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (1967), and the Bronze Star Medal.
Ole was an outspoken advocate for economic development in the Florida Panhandle, and he was passionate about the success of his community. Ole retired from the Army in 1979 and began a second career as a Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Executive with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce in Chipley, Fl. He also served as Executive Director of the Bay County Committee of 100. During his years serving Washington and Bay Counties, he coordinated the recruitment and the location of numerous business and industry facilities. Ole also served as Interim City Manager for Chipley on two separate occasions.
Ole was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Chipley, Florida, for more than forty-five years. He served in various leadership positions and sang in choirs around the country.
Ole is preceded in death by his parents O.L. Ellis Sr, Tessie Lee Gibson Ellis, and sisters Elizabeth Ann Ellis, and Reita Ellis Wilson.
Ole is survived by wife Bebe Chunn Ellis and his four children Chris Ellis ( Kim Hirst Ellis), Rachel Ellis Belser (Chauncey Belser), Terry Ellis (Paula Woodham Ellis), and Derek Ellis. Also, eleven grandchildren: Justin Ellis (Hollie Ellis), Allen Ellis, Ashley Ellis Taylor (Jason Taylor), Jordan Belser Horvath (Philip Horvath), Joy Belser Grace (Stetson Grace), Allison Ellis Davis (Alex Davis), Jenna Belser, Jamie Ellis Lee (Dylan), Jessica Belser Newton (Christopher Newton), Kevin Belser, and Allie Ellis.
He is also survived by 15 wonderful great-grandchildren: Gavin, Grayson, Gibson, Griffin, Brookley, Jax, Baxley, Kenna, Jameson, Lyanna, Case, Colt, Cooper, Boaz, and Graham.
Family will receive friends for visitation on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church of Chipley from 5:00-7:00 P.M. Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. at the First United Methodist Church of Chipley with Reverend David Chunn officiating. Interment will follow at Glenwood Cemetery in Chipley, FL. In lieu of flowers, they are being accepted or donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church Building Fund 1285 W. Jackson Avenue Chipley, Florida 32428
Brown Funeral Home & Blue Lake Crematory of Chipley, FL is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign the online register at www.brownfh.net