George William “Bill” Ellis passed away peacefully at Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, VA on February 22, 2019 at the age of 81 surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his son Charles William Ellis.
Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan Scott Ellis, his sons David Andrew Ellis and his wife Jennifer; Robert Edward Ellis and his wife Lori; his daughter Jennifer Lynn Ellis; and his grandchildren Alison, Jacob, Ashley and Hunter.
Bill was born on May 24, 1937 in Washington, D.C. to Charles and Sophie Gladden Ellis, one of 14 children. In 1956, he graduated from Mackin High School in Washington, D.C. In 1957, he began a career with C&P Telephone in Northern Virginia, retiring in 1992 after 35 years. In 1960, Bill also enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves and served six years before being honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal. He and Joan married in 1960 and started a family in their hometown of Vienna, VA.
At the age of 18, Bill joined the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department and began a lifelong career as a well-respected volunteer firefighter. He attained the rank of Fire Chief in 1980 and remained Chief until 2001 when he and Joan moved to Culpeper, VA. He wasn’t away from the fire service very long and soon joined the Salem Volunteer Fire Department in Culpeper County. He continued to serve with Salem for many more years as an apparatus driver as well as a wealth of knowledge from his 50 years with Vienna VFD.
Bill worked hard for his family as a cable splicing technician with C&P Telephone. His office was hanging off the side of a telephone pole, installing and fixing telephone lines. He often spent late nights working on job sites repairing damaged underground telephone network distribution cables.
Bill enjoyed tinkering with everything. His collection of nuts, bolts, washers and various fasteners, tools and wire allowed him to create a device for almost every situation. If you were missing a small part, Bill had it or could make it. His basement in Vienna and later, his garage in Culpeper were his domain. Only he knew where things were.
The family will hold a celebration of his life at 11:00am on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Salem Volunteer Fire Department, 13428 Scotts Mill Road, Culpeper.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to his wife, Joan S. Ellis, c/o Union Bank and Trust - Culpeper South Branch, Culpeper VA to assist with medical and funeral expenses. Donations can also be made through PayPal by contacting Bill’s son, Robert Ellis at [email protected].
Fire Departments wishing to participate in a procession to the firehouse should contact Salem VFD Chief Mike Bailey at [email protected] or 540-423-4228.