Earl Lee Ellis’ story began during the peak of summer in 1926. Born on July 28 of that year, he was the son of Lester and Elizabeth (Jansen) Ellis of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of six children, his father worked hard to provide for their large family. It was an exciting time in our nation, and a sense of gaiety filled the air as the Roaring Twenties took the country by storm. Major U.S. manufacturers were implementing the beginning of the eight hour, five day work week, and factory towns were flourishing. Although no one could surmise what was in store, the effects of the Great Depression during Earl’s childhood created much hardship for everyone.
Earl graduated from Boys Tech High School at the age of 17. Like many young men who felt the call to duty during World War II, Earl entered the military even before his 18th birthday. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946, and was a Storekeeper Third Class. Upon returning home following his honorable discharge, Earl began working for Schlitz Brewery in Milwaukee until he retired. When he worked for Schlitz, employees had the privilege of purchasing cases of beer for $2.00. He often loaded up his station wagon until it brimmed with beer. Once home, he generously extended his neighbors the opportunity to buy some of his surplus.
Through a co-worker, Earl agreed to go on a blind date with a young woman named Louise Griebl. Although Earl was quiet and reserved, Louise on the other hand had the gift for gab. Even though it took Earl several weeks to ask her out again, their romance grew and they were united in marriage on June 26, 1954 in Milwaukee. They began their life together living with Louise’s mother for a time, and before long were blessed with three children, Kathy, James and Joey. James and Joey were twins, but sadly Joey died at birth. Earl and Louise eventually purchased their home on S. 19th Street where they raised their family and continued to live for their remaining days together.
Earl was a soft spoken man with a simple approach to life. He worked hard and lovingly provided for his family. He always placed his family and the needs of others before himself, and never sought out the spotlight. Several health issues plagued Earl in his later years, and diabetes and dementia began to take their toll on him. Earl eventually needed extended care and went to live at the Terrace of St. Francis where he sadly but peacefully died in his sleep on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at the age of 84.
He was the beloved husband of Louise Ellis (Griebl); cherished father of James (Sherry) Ellis and the late Joey Ellis; loving grandfather of Nicholas (Dawn), Amanda, Ashley Ellis and Jesse (Kerri) and Jeremy (Angie) Cardenas. great-grandfather to Cody and Kolton, Morgan and Wyatt; he was also the dear brother of Betty Murray, Lee (Linda) Ellis, the late Bill Ellis, the late Pat Schwartz and the late Arthur Ellis; he was the brother-in-law of John (Audrey) Griebl; further survived by other relatives and friends. Memorial Service on Tuesday. December 7, 2010, 11:00 AM at Forest Hill Memorial Park Chapel 3301 E. Forest Hill Ave. Oak Creek, WI. The Ellis family is being served by the Suminski Family Funeral Homes, Niemann/Suminski (414) 744-5156. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a memory, share a photo and to sign his online guest book.
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