Thomas "Tommy" Henry Ellison Sr.

November 22, 1943March 20, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of Thomas “Tommy” Henry Ellison announces his passing on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the age of 74 years.

Tommy will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 45 years, Debby and his children, Jack (Sheri), Jill, Thomas (Sheau-Lei) and Leya (Jerad). Tommy will be fondly remembered by his nine grandchildren, Samantha, Nicole, Paul, Loretta, Natalie, Leila, Jackson, Mei-Lin and Cerre, by his siblings, Jessica (Ronnie), James (Shannon) and Lynda (Dave). Tommy will also be forever remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews and extended family and dear friends.

A native of Miami and son of Charles Henry Ellison and Marion Esther Wright, Tommy attended Christopher Columbus High School where he excelled academically and athletically. He participated in football, basketball and track earning All-Gold Coast Conference, All Catholic All-State, Catholic School All-American and the 1961 Top Scholar Athlete of the year. He enjoyed playing football with his brothers Jim and Jack, all three sit in the Columbus Athletic Hall of Fame. After high school, Tommy attending the Naval Academy and graduated in 1966 and Naval Pilot Training in 1967. As a Lieutenant he served aboard the aircraft carrier WASP from 1968-1971 patrolling for submarines and received numerous medals including a National Defense Service Medal. After his service in the Navy he returned to his family in south Florida and met his wife, Debby.

To many Tommy was a mentor, father figure, friend and someone you could always count on to help out. He loved sports and especially enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren excel in their own passions. Tommy could be found outside most days taking care of his gardens, chickens, grandchildren or working on projects out by the work shed. He spent many hours with friends and family in some of his favorite places such as fishing and diving in the waters off south Florida, hunting deer by airboat in the Everglades and vacationing in Ft. Myers. Tommy will be remembered for laughing at his own jokes, his wit, his kind heart and his commitment to his faith and family.

We look forward to receiving family and friends on Sunday from 3pm to 5 pm and in lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in his memory to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Tommy was thankful for the health of his own grandchildren and faithfully contributed monthly to their mission.


  • Memorial Service

    Sunday, March 25, 2018

  • Visitation

    Sunday, March 25, 2018


Thomas "Tommy" Henry Ellison Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Delores Rutherford

March 20, 2021

Just to look at that beautiful picture and remember that handsome face. What wonderful memories I have with that man who was so full of love. He was a wonderful brother in law and such a huge part of our families lives, he brought us so much joy. He had wonderful traits, thoughtful, kind, helpful, fair and an abundence of common sense and that great sense of humor. I feel so blessed to have had him in my life for 48 years, 51 years to me because the memories are priceless. Love you and miss you Tom

Deborah Ellison

April 9, 2018

I want to thank everyone for all the heartfelt memories of Tommy, such a unique and amazing man. I never doubted we would be getting old together, and it was fine with me, of course my children think we did. Every day that passes makes it harder to believe he has left us forever. I am a lucky woman as he has been with me to develop loving relationships with our four children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and all the extended families and friends. I have been surrounded with all of them and siblings from both sides of our families. I am sad and will miss him everyday, but they keep me busy ,busy, busy with many a smile on my face. A beautiful fruit basket arrived last week with only the message "ENJOY". I cannot get a name from the company to thank the person , so if any one can help please contact me 305-281-5458. He loved all of us but for better or worse he was mine for 45 years.

Lynda Garrett

April 3, 2018

Everyone who knew Tommy remembers his great sense of humor, his infectious laugh and his way of making you feel special. He could hardly get through telling a joke without laughing out loud. You were laughing with him before the joke was ever finished. He loved children especially the little ones - loved holding them in his arms. Coming from a large family, we were all very close. I was the youngest and he was next to me in rank so there was always a special bond between us. Fortunately, we spent a lot of quality time together throughout our lives - memories I will cherish. He was a terrific brother who was loving, caring and always there for me. I love him and I’ll miss him. ❤️

Harold (Barney) Hauptfuhrer

April 3, 2018

I first met Spider when we both were at the Naval Academy Prep School in Bainbridge, Md. I always felt that he was a very special person.
Even though I was a enlisted Marine at that time and accepted my commission as a Marine after graduation, it was always a good day for me when our paths crossed during those 5 years.
He was a classmate that I never will forget.
Harold (Barney) Hauptfuhrer
USNA ‘66

Patrick Stajdel

March 31, 2018

So sorry to here this news. I knew Tommy early in life when I went to school with him at St Theresa’s. May he Rest In Peace.

Pat Stajdel

George Ruggiano

March 30, 2018

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of my friend, classmate, and teammate. Tommy Ellison was a special athlete and scholar at Columbus high school. I played on the opposite end. I caught passes, but Tommy also caught passes for touchdowns. The Ellison brothers, Jim, jack, and Tommy were the reason we had any wins in the 1st three years of existence. He further exemplified himself by graduating from Annapolis. I always looked up to him. We later reconnected and he asked me to aircondition his house in the redlands. I was glad to be at his and jacks induction to the hall of fame at Columbus high. My condolences to his wife Debbie and family. God bless. George

Robert and Caroline Ellison

March 29, 2018

Hello. This is Butch Jr. and I just wanted to say that between the wonderful but turbulent years of my 20s I got to spend alot of time with uncle Tommy. Not just working in construction at the nursury and abroad but also hunting and fishing. Uncle Tommy was always a joy to be arround and he was quite humorous and he was fun and had a great opinion on things of the day. I got to do some yard work at Tommy's house from time to time. He let me park my full track in his big backyard in the Redlands of Florida. His wife Debbie is a saint and just a wonderful person who is also a great mom. My family's heart and prayers go out to Debbie, Jack , and Tomas. I love being an Ellison because of the great love and sincere joy we spread through this life. Jesus said that He has a place prepared for us and we know Tommy is there waiting for us. May God bless this great family, we love you always Uncle Tommy.l

Ella Lyden

March 27, 2018

Rest in peace. I may not have been related to you, but in my mind, you were a part of my family.

Tom Sheehy

March 26, 2018

I knew Tommy Ellison for 65 years. We were neighbors growing up and best friends. In all that time I never saw him without a smile on his face. He and his brother Jack were leaders in our high school class at Christopher Columbus high school. Both ethically, morally and on the athletic field. He is in my thoughts and prayers and will be forever. His smile, sense of humor and kindness will be terribly missed. May the Lord take him, bless him and keep him.

Julio Leblanc

March 26, 2018

Rest In Peace Tommy “Spider” Ellison my best friend and teammate at Christopher Columbus High School. So happy you were inducted into the Athletic HOF along with Jackie and Jimmy which was so well deserved and that I was able to attend the ceremony. You and and your brothers were 3 of the best athletes to ever play at our alma mater. You would have been the best man at my wedding but you were at Annapolis finishing your Naval career. I remember our senior year we made an agreement that I would play football if you played basketball which worked out great. You became an All City/All American wide receiver at CC and you helped me become a Gold Conference All Star Basketball player. That 80 yard TD at Key West in a 13-7 upset will never be forgotten. I remember that we would go out every Saturday night to a party or just hang out. After you left for the Naval Academy I worked with Billy, Bobby, and dad Charlie at Frank Kleba Construction and would go hunting weekends with Billy in the Glades but you weren’t with me those days and I really missed you. Those are memories that I will relish forever. I will truly miss you my old friend and I will always love you. May you rest in Peace with the Lord. Julio Leblanc (aka Jules Baby)