First Sergeant (ret.) Joseph D. Ellis, age 86, died peacefully in his Kenner, LA home on 1 December 2017. First Sergeant Ellis served in the Vietnam conflict and the Korean War. He ended his military career in Babenhausen, Germany, as a First Sergeant for A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 5th FA. First Sergeant Ellis was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious and heroic service.
First Sergeant Ellis was born on 20 August 1931 in Port Gibson, MS to John and Katie Mae Ellis. In December 1952, he joined the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Knox, KY. During his 30 years in the Army, First Sergeant Ellis served as a Welder, Assistant Section Chief, Section Chief, Instructor, Firing Battery Chief, Senior Instructor, and First Sergeant. Additionally, he served in multiple overseas tours to South Korea and Vietnam where his leadership was lauded by his leadership.
Joseph was loyal, hard-working and dedicated to those who he supervised and mentored. He was also a providing husband and father, marrying Anna Paula Reifer in 1977 in Germany. He retired from the Army in December 1982 in Babenhausen, Germany before moving to Kenner, LA. He began a new career with The Ellis Company Inc. and was proud of his ability to transfer his diverse skill set from the Army and apply them to benefit his new employer. Joseph worked for The Ellis Co. Inc. for over 20 years while simultaneously running his own family business, Ellis Lawn Care. Lastly, he worked for the Jefferson Parish Drainage Department, retiring fully in 2016. Although Joseph was a loyal and dedicated employee, he was also committed to mentoring others; inspiring numerous individuals throughout each of his roles.
He is survived by his wife, Anna; three daughters: Ivonn Ellis-Wiggan, Anita Reifer, and Daniela Ellis; two sons, Tobias and Theodore Ellis; 15 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren. Additionally, he is survived by his brother, Zachary Ellis; two sisters, Odessa Warner and Ruthie Norwood; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A viewing will take place on Friday, 8 December 2017 from 11 am - 1 pm and will be immediately followed by the funeral service at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Drive in Metairie, LA. Burial will be in Garden of Memories Cemetery.