Dewayne R.V. Ellis, Sr., of St. James, Mo., passed away at the Phelps Health Hospital in Rolla, Mo., on Friday, February 4, 2022, joining his bride of 57 years, Judy Kathleen Ellis who paved the way to Heaven just 13 days before him. Dewayne was born in Little Rock, Ark., on November 10, 1944, to R.V. Mitchell and Irma (Grey) Ellis.
Dewayne left school in the 9th grade to help his single mother take care of his young siblings. They ended up in Missouri where he met the love of his life, Miss Judy Kathleen Smith, who he wed on June 20, 1964. This union was blessed with two children.
Dewayne worked for Intercounty Electric as a lineman for over 38 years. Growing up in the fifties he came to appreciate “good old rock & roll music,” and classic cars, he was especially fond of the 55 Chevy Bel-Air convertible. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping with his family. He taught his children and grandchildren to swim in the “old sink or swim” kind of fashion. Most of all he instilled in his children and grandchildren to love unconditionally, to always tell the truth and to be respectful of others. He also taught them family supports family, he was always there for his family in so many ways; if you ran out of gas, if you had a flat tire, if you needed a little cash, he was the first call that you made. He adored his family and getting together with them was something he looked most forward to. Dwayne loved to eat, and holiday meals, especially Christmas, were his favorite time of the year. He was proud of the family that he and Judy raised. He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. His finest quality was his patience, an inherent ability to listen, to absorb, and to offer a point of view based on quiet, measured wisdom. Finally, everyday of his 57 years of marriage, he taught his children, and grandchildren what it meant to be a great husband. He married his sweetheart, he adored her, he laughed with her and cried with her, and was totally dedicated to her. We bid farewell as we mourn the loss of a lively and dignified soul, a soul that brought joy and fulfillment to many and whose legacy will live on forever.
Dewayne is survived by his mother, Irma Harrison, of Mission, Texas; children, Delayne Lancaster and husband Bob, of St. James and R.V. Ellis, of St. James; grandchildren, Rebecca Sandusky, Samantha Gaddy (Ryan), and Zack Russell; great-grandchildren, Lillian, Piper, Mason and Ryker; sisters, Trudy Copeland and husband Buster, of Mission, Texas, Davene Willhite and husband Charlie, of Mission, Texas, and Vanessa Ellis, of Licking, Mo.; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, R.V. Ellis; stepmother, Hazel Ellis; sister, Brenda Whitley; and brother, Kenneth Ellis.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 11, 2022, at 11 a.m. at the St. James Chapel of the James & Gahr Mortuary with Mike Southard officiating. Visitation will be held at the Chapel on Thursday, February 10, 2022, from 5-7 p.m. He will then be laid next to his beloved Judy, with Zack Russell, Samantha Gaddy, Rebecca Sandusky, Ben Swan, Jeff Copeland and David Whitley serving as pallbearers. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Buster Copeland, Charlie Willhite, Bobby Lancaster, Ryan Gaddy, Justin Wantland, David John Harrison and Chris Swan. Memorials in lieu of flowers are suggested and greatly appreciated to the Ellis Grandchildren College Fund; cards are available at all James & Gahr locations.