William Tinsley Ellis died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 25, 2017. He was born on May 26, 1933 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the original Broward General Hospital. He was the son of the late Thomas David Ellis, Jr. and Marcella Tinsley Ellis, early pioneers in Hollywood, Florida.
He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Judith Williams Ellis, his children, William Tinsley Ellis, Jr. (Kelley), Marcella (Marnie) Ellis Fulton (Christopher), Ralph Williams Ellis, all of Atlanta, Georgia, and John David Ellis (Lynn Kay) of Yokohama, Japan. He is also survived by his grandchildren, William Tinsley Ellis III (Trey), Marcella Geneva Ellis (Genny), Thomas David Harrison Flynn, and David Soong Ellis. He was predeceased by his brother, Thomas David Ellis III, of Hollywood, Florida and his grandson, Alexander Tinsley Flynn (Ty) of Atlanta, Georgia.
He was a graduate of Hollywood Central Elementary School, Hollywood, Florida, The Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut, Emory University and Emory University Law School, Atlanta, Georgia and New York University Law School. He joined his father's law firm, Ellis, Spencer and Butler, in Hollywood, Florida, becoming a partner at the firm. After practicing law for ten years in the firm, he attended New York University and graduated with an LLM in Taxation. His practice then centered on estate planning, trusts, and probate. He retired from his practice as a senior partner after over fifty years with the firm. In 1977, he received an honorary doctorate from Nova Southeastern University where he briefly became an Adjunct Professor of Taxation in the Law School. He became a Fellow in the American College of Trusts and Estates Council (ACTEC). He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity at Emory University and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity at the Emory University Law School. He was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church, Hollywood, Florida, serving for many years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He served in that capacity when the new sanctuary was built. He later attended the Church by the Sea in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was a long-time member of the Committee of 100 and the Kiwanis Club of Hollywood, Florida. He was the founding Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Hollywood, Florida, having started the "Y" with the Reverend Amos Boren of Hollywood Hills United Methodist Church. He served as the President of the South Broward Bar Association and was a member of the Broward County and American Bar Associations. He served as past Chairman of the Hollywood, Florida United Way Fund. He was the recipient of the "Chief Award" (Champion of Higher Education in Florida) given by the Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida in 1981. He served on the Board of Assembly of Emory University and was an Emeritus Member on the Board of the Emory University Law School. He was the last surviving original member in service of the Nova Southeastern University Board of Trustees and served as the Corporate Secretary from 1964 until the present. He drew up the original charter for Nova Southeastern University in 1964 and served under every president of the University through Dr. George Hanbury, II. He served as the Charter Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Nova Southeastern University Law School. He served on the Board of the Fort Lauderdale Oral School, the original Board of the Bonnet House, and for many years on the Board of Trustees of St. Andrews School, Boca Raton, Florida, the Board of Trustees of Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia, a position held by his father and his grandfather, and the Board of Trustees of Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Atlanta, Georgia. He was a Senior Member of the Lauderdale Yacht Club, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a Senior Life Member of the Capital City Club of Atlanta, Georgia.
He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Lynn Ellis Rousseau of Gainesville, Florida, Thomas David Ellis IV of Waterbury, Connecticut, Robert Griffith Ellis of Painesville, Ohio, Ralph W. Williams III of New Braunfels, Texas, Nancy Jane Williams Morizio of Boston, Massachusetts, John Martin Hicks Williams II, and Herbert Lee Creecy III of Atlanta, Georgia. There will be a private family service in Georgia.
Memorial gifts may be made to the charity of your choice.
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