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The Villages
Friday, October 15, 2021

Lois Jeanine Ellis

Lois Ellis
Lois “Jean” Ellis

Lois Jeanine “Jean” Ellis (nee Dykstra), age 93, died on September 6, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan surrounded by her family and caregivers.

She was born on July 1, 1928 in Hammond, Indiana to parents Howard F. and Louise Lois (Letson) Dykstra. She grew up in South Haven, Michigan and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Western Michigan University in 1950. She then moved to New York City and eventually worked on the Guide Staff at NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center where she met her future husband, Donald Edward Ellis (1928-2019) and continued to work in a variety of positions at NBC. She and Don married in 1952 and made a life together with two sons, James Edward Ellis (1957-2014) and John Steven Ellis (1959). They spent many happy years in Pearl River, New York where Jean was involved in service and leadership positions at the Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church in Pearl River as well as singing in the choir. Jean and Don moved to Atlanta, Georgia and then to Seattle, Washington as he worked for the Turner Broadcasting System. In retirement, Jean moved with Don to Osterville, Massachusetts where she was active in the South Congregational Church in Centerville, Massachusetts serving on church boards and singing in the choir. She also volunteered with Don for the Cape Cod Writers Conference.

Jean and Don then moved to The Villages, Florida in 2002 where she enjoyed an active life with many new friends while reconnecting with old friends from New York. She sang in the North Lake Presbyterian Church choir before they joined the United Church of Christ at the Villages. After Don’s passing, she moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to be close to her son John.

Jean is predeceased by her husband, Donald E. Ellis; her brother, Jack H. Dykstra (1930-1938), her sister Janet L. Freeman (1932-2020), and her son, James E. Ellis (1957-2014). She loved her life with Don and missed him terribly after his passing. She was a devoted and caring mother to her boys, thoughtfully attending to their emotional, spiritual, creative and intellectual growth and development. Jean was proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. Thus, she mourned the death of her son James until her last breath and kept his picture by her bed along with a picture of Don. She was brave in the face of the isolation caused by the pandemic lockdown and enjoyed being able to see her family and friends in person again when the restrictions were lifted. She loved the Lord and is now at peace with Him and is reunited with her husband, Don and her son, Jim.

Jean is survived by her brother, James H. (Sandra “Sandie”) Dykstra; her son, John S. (Beatrice M.) Ellis; daughter-in-law, Mel Ellis; and her grandchildren, Adriana G. Ellis, Taylor E. Ellis, Donald E. Ellis; as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

An online memorial service will be announced at a later time. Donations in her memory may be sent to the Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, 51 Sickletown Rd., Pearl River, New York, 10965.

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