Robert L. Ellis Sr.

OAKLAND – Bob Ellis passed away on Nov. 14, 2019 at home in Oakland, at the age of 89 after a courageous battle against cancer. He was born on March 16, 1930 in Portland, the second of four children to Irma and Chester Ellis. The family lived in South Portland. Older brother, 2nd Lt. Wallace Clayton “Bud”, Bob, sisters Beverly and Olive, all graduated from South Portland High School. Bob suffered adversity early in life. His father died when Bob was eight, and when he was 13, his beloved 19-year-old brother, Bud, was killed in World War II. Bob and the family persevered: he excelled in school, played football, and won the state championship in the high hurdles in the spring of 1948. He was very proud of that state title his entire life. Bob graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1951. He then sailed around the world for the next four years. He left the Merchant Marines in 1955 and settled in Pennsylvania. There he met the love of his life, Janet Tomlinson and they were married in her hometown of Fallsington, Pa. on Nov. 19, 1955. Stephen was born in 1956. The family moved to New Jersey in 1958 and Robert Jr. “Bud” was born in 1959, Liz in 1963. Bob started 45-plus years working in the field of industrial sales, in Pennsylvania and continued it in New Jersey. Bob’s life in New Jersey was also filled with public service. He was a member of the volunteer ambulance service in Hillsdale and after moving to Woodcliff Lake he entered politics. He won two terms as a member of the town council, and thereafter ran for and won four terms as mayor. When he and Janet left Woodcliff Lake in 1981 and returned to Bob’s home state and a new job, he had served a total of 16 years in local politics: four on the council, 12 as mayor. Upon his departure, Ellis Lane was dedicated in his honor. Bob worked for 18 years for Sheridan Corporation in Fairfield as VP of sales, then in the final work chapter of his life, spent 19 years as the Code Enforcement Officer of Oakland. As when he was mayor, Bob was known for working collaboratively with people and getting things done. Bob loved work and only stopped at the age of 88, after surgery for cancer.He is survived by Janet, his beloved wife of nearly 64 years; Steve and Lori Ellis, grandson Michael and his wife Jess, grandson Zachary; Bud and Laura Ellis, grandchildren Tommy, Clara and James; Liz and Dan Muehl, granddaughter Courtney and husband Jake Monroe, grandchildren Delaney and Clayton. He leaves behind many friends and co-workers from a life of love, friendship and service. Visitation will be held at Wheeler Funeral Home, 26 Church Street, Oakland, Maine, 04963 from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22; a celebratory memorial service, providing an opportunity to speak about Bob, will occur from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday as well. A graveside service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Bay View Cemetery in South Portland. The full obituary can be found on the Wheeler Funeral Home website at www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home & Cremation Care, 26 Church St., Oakland. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to either: Humane SocietyWaterville Area100 Webb RoadWaterville, ME 04901 or Hospice Volunteers of Waterville Area304 Main StreetWaterville, ME 04901