Robert Edwin Ellis, Jr.

Robert Edwin Ellis, Jr., 72, of Monticello, passed away unexpectantly, February 16, 2022, at his home.

He was born September 5, 1949, in Monticello, to the late Robert Edwin Ellis, Sr. and Elizabeth Nelson Ellis.

Robert was a drum major for the Monticello High School Billies Marching Band and graduated with the class of 1967. He received a BA Degree in Music from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1985. He became Director of Choral Activities for the Mena School District and in 1987 the Mena Middle School elected him ”Coolest Teacher Around.” They also recognized him for his outstanding dedication and service to the district. Robert was also choir director at Mena’s First Baptist Church. Later, he worked as the Monticello School District’s Director of the Alternative Learning Education School; he was honored as the Monticello School’s Teacher of the Year for 30-plu years of dedicated service in education, with 22 years in the Monticello Schools. He retired in 2016.

Robert was a gifted musician. Many lives, young and old, were enriched during his almost 50 years of private instruction in piano and various other instruments. He was organist for Monticello’s First Baptist Church for a number of years was currently using what he felt was his God-given talent as organist for Warren’s First United Methodist Church. He also served his country in the Army National Guard & then in the Army Reserve where he was the Chaplain’s Assistant.

He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother. Robert is survived by his wife of 48 years, Bonnie Gardner Ellis, of Monticello; his daughter, Beth Ellis, of Thornville, Ohio; his son, Robert (Rob) Edwin Ellis, III and wife Amanda and son Brayden, of Monticello; a sister, Edwina Ellis Louthan and husband, Duane, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Deryk Grosse and Morgan Grosse of Thornville, Ohio; nephews, Josh Louthan and wife Lindsey and Connor Louthan and wife Kati, all of Springfield, Missouri; a niece, Grace Louthan, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and his beloved cat, Patches.

Funeral services will be held Monday, February 21, at 2 p.m. at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Chapel with Rev. Gary Harrison officiating. Visitation will be held Monday at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Monticello Music Club, c/o Frank Ferguson, 324 Bolling St. Monticello, AR 71655 or First United Methodist Church, for the benefit of adult music, 111 Church St., Warren, AR 71671.