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Monday, May 1, 2023
5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Frank Charles Ellis departed for heaven on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 in the very same manner he had lived: flanked by the wife, children, and grandchildren who adored him, encircled by the sounds of family stories and classic Outlaw country, and ready to enjoy an impromptu nap. Frank was, above all else, a family man and a working man, and he was an extraordinary example of both by every single measure that matters. Frank was dignified but selfless, simple but quick-witted, unassuming but wise, tough as an ox but unsparing in his affection for us. The outpouring of love and admiration for him in his final days here—from relatives, friends, and all those who knew his big, warm smile—is a testament to how well he lived.
Frank was born in Shreveport on June 7, 1940, and grew up baling hay on a Homer farm with his grandfather, Daddy George, whom we know he was delighted to see again this week. A lifelong craftsman, he began working at age 15 and went on to build his own successful company, Ellis Sheet Metal. After forty years of business ownership, he retired (gradually, after much coercion) and turned his attentions to his treasured tractor. Frank loved fishing, often with his family from the pier of the bayou homestead he maintained with pride and frying up the catch to perfection per his signature method. He also loved (in no particular order): adventuring on Cross Lake and in the woods with the son, daughter, and granddaughters he loved endlessly; talking with the loyal friends he saw regularly over many decades; hunting; riding his Honda ATVs; building all manner of things (including a giant bamboo fishing pole with a rubber ball bobber, easily visible from South Lakeshore Drive, which he maintained for the fun of it); feeding the alligator who visited him daily for years; his Harley Sportster; coffee, day and night; good jokes (just off-color enough to make you wheeze); GMC trucks and old Jeeps; Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard songs; picking wild plums and berries; good hardy baseball caps; Western films; fruit pies and fatty sausage; RV camping; keeping an eye on the wildlife and any local construction; peppermints; and bantering with his wife while watching sports.
He was a man who, as he got older, stopped bringing his rifles to his deer stand in favor of a camera, because he realized he’d rather just watch the deer. A man who saw his family through some of the hardest blows life can land with constant, steady presence and grace. A man we saw get a visit from a stranger he had helped with his truck a decade before, who still remembered his exceptional kindness to everyone. A man who cut into his workdays to pick up his grandkids (45 minutes earlier in the morning than requested) and drop them at school. A man who hand-picked flowers for his wife after a half-century of marriage. A man with more enthusiasm for eating than anyone we’ve ever seen.
Frank is survived by Sharon Kay Young Ellis, his devoted wife of 62 years and the love of his life; his daughter, Kelley Ellis Olinde and her husband Michael; and his son, Josh Randall Ellis. Also carrying forth his memory are his grandchildren, Rhagen “Peckerwood” Olinde, Taylor “Dynamite” Olinde, Michael Olinde, Jr., and Jennifer Olinde; as well as Rhagen’s partner Laurel and daughter Madeline; and his brother John Paul Ellis. We are all deeply grateful for the years we spent with him, and still frankly stunned that the world has continued to turn without him. He is preceded in death by his beloved mother, Mary Noyvice Maddry Ellis; his father, Thomas J. Ellis; and his cherished brother, Thomas Ray “Buddy” Ellis.
Visitation will be held Monday, May 1, 2023 at Rose-Neath South (Southside Drive in Shreveport), from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A service to celebrate Frank’s life will be held at Rose-Neath on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., with graveside to follow at Forest Park Cemetery West.
Honoring Frank as pallbearers will be Chris Warren, David Bolen, Donald “Bruiser” Bolen, Cliff Chenault, Randy Nix, and James Hay. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be his brother, John Paul Ellis and his buddies, James “Jimmy” Gentry, Robert Mitchell, and James “Jim” Smith.
The family extends special thanks to the loving staff at Sunrise Senior Living of Baton Rouge and his nurses at Hospice of Baton Rouge.
In lieu of flowers, please honor Frank’s generosity of spirit by donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. https://www.stjude.org/give/memorials-and-dedications.html