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2012-08-09

'The end of the trail'

Special to the Courier

God has gained and the world has lost a wonderful man.

William "Oak" Allison Ellis Jr., 77, of Bandera, was called by The Great Spirit to smoke the pipe with The Ancestors at 12:33 pm, Friday, August 3, from the home of his daughter in Weimar. His death was due to natural causes.

Bill was born May 2, 1935 in Atlanta, Georgia, to Anna Louise Shaw and William Allison Ellis Sr., who both predeceased him. After his father gave his life for this country in World War II, Bill spent much of his childhood with his adopted family, James and Linda Shaw, and the couple's son, Robin Shaw of Bandera.

Bill served in the United States Navy during the Korean War and then in the US Air Force before retiring after 25 years of service.

He earned an associate's degree from Texas A&M, a real estate license and worked as a security guard, a ranch foreman and Boy Scout Leader; however, his fondest memories came while employed as a surveyor.

Although a private man for most of his life, Bill loved to teach, offering a variety of classes in Texas and Native American history and gun safety.

A member of The American Legion Post 157 of Bandera, Grace Lutheran Church of Bandera, Hill Country Archeological Association of Kerrville, and the San Antonio Living History Association, in addition to other organizations and groups, Bill was also a HAM radio operator, avid gardener, banjo picker, pipe smoker, living history re-enactor, Pow Wow participant, a proud Gourd Dancer and the author of "Painted Pony Beaded Moccasin," a column that appeared in the Bandera County Courier. He could speak, read and write not only English but also the German language of his mother, and Cherokee of his father.

For most of his life, Bill was a bachelor, spending time with his best friend of many years, Horst Pallaske, as he waited for his childhood sweetheart and one true love to come back into his life.

Finally reunited after a 43-year separation, the couple eloped on May 29, 2003. Bill and Diane Manzanera of Weimar were formally joined together in a Native American Ceremony on Sept. 28, 2003 in Bandera. Bill lovingly took on three sons, two daughters, 12 grandchildren, two donkeys, two dogs and a cat. He and Diane lived in love and happiness for nine wonderful years.

Bill leaves behind his wife, Diane Ellis, of Weimar; sons, Richard Marryott and his wife, Michelle, of San Antonio; and Robert Elliott and his wife, Tami, of La Porte; daughters, Jennie Bourland and her husband, Eddie Bourland, of Pipe Creek; and Iva "Little Dove" Weiss and her husband, Tyrone Miller, of Weimar; son-in-law Tony Two Hawks Molina of Weimar; and nieces, Stacey Ceverson of Belton and Alison Ellis of Virginia.

Bill was predeceased by his brother, Michael Ellis; adopted parents, James and Linda Shaw; son Daniel Marryott; and nephew Casey Ellis.

The family offers a heartfelt thanks to the Hospice of South Texas in Victoria and Hallettsville for the loving and wonderful care of their loved one. They are all Angels among us. They would also like to thank all of their friends and loved ones for their love and support during this time.

A memorial will take place at 4 pm, Saturday, August 18, at American Legion Post 157, 207 12th Street, in Bandera.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill's name to the Hospice of South Texas 605 E. Locust Avenue, Victoria 77901. Telephone is 361-572-4300 or 1-800-874-6908.

Wado


Pictured: William 'Oak' Allison Ellis Jr. 1935-2012

Bill and Diane Ellis at an Intertribal Powwow