William Robert Ellis (Bill) was born to William Charles Ellis and Winifred Nixon Ellis in Berkeley, California, on June 29, 1948. The family moved to Greenville, Delaware, just a few years later, following W.C. Ellis’s work for Hercules Powder Company. There Bill grew up with brothers Michael Nixon (Nick), Thomas Harper (Tom) and sister Edith Patricia (Pat).

After attending Wilmington FREINDS school, Bill spent time in college and traveling. His travels eventually had him drive across country in his 1958 Corvette. In California he would meet Sallie Stout. Bill and Sallie eventually traveled back to the East Coast. The couple married on Halloween in 1970. Bill and Sallie settled in Wells, Maine, where they raised son Ryan William Charles Ellis (Ryan). After finishing school, Bill took a job as an Engineering Technician at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where he would work for more than 40 years until retiring in 2018. Always fascinated by how things worked, Bill enjoyed several rides on submarines during the sea trials he contributed to.

Bill had a lifetime love of cars. His early automotive interest can be noted as he turned his family’s farm shop into a racing garage where he and his friends gathered to build hot rods. Bill was the eldest child and had the responsibility for driving his siblings to school. One consequence of his hot-rodding interests, the family had many spirited rides to school.

In his retirement, Bill drove his replica 1964 Cheetah every opportunity he had. In the evenings Bill could often be found watching drag racing while cleaning materials for Sallie’s wind chime business. He had a natural draw to animals, having had many family dogs, cats, and birds throughout his life. Bill also enjoyed live music, having recently enjoyed seeing a personal favorite, Martin Barre, at a small local venue with Ryan.

Bill was predeceased by both his parents. He is survived by brothers Nick, of Southern Pines, North Carolina; Tom, of Wilmington, Delaware; and sister Pat, of Kennebunkport; as well as several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his wife, Sallie, of nearly 52 years, and son, Ryan (44), both of Wells.

The family will have a private Celebration of Life at a date to be determined.

To share a memory or to leave a message of condolence, please visit Bill’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 111 Chapel Rd. Wells, ME 04090

In his honor, donations may be made to the Dempsey Center at https://support.dempseycenter.org/participant/fordad2022.

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