William Woodrum Ellis, 92, died on August 31, 2017 at home in Osprey Florida surrounded by his loving family. A long-time Princeton resident, Bill Ellis was born and raised in Jefferson City, Missouri. An Eagle Scout by the age of 15, Bill enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve while still in high school and was called to active duty in July 1943. After graduating from Midshipmen School at Notre Dame University, Bill served as a naval officer in the Pacific during WW II. After the war he completed his chemical engineering degree at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity, Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and Delta Tau Delta. He was employed by duPont, Owens-Illinois, and Ross Laboratories before accepting an academic position as Executive Director of Professional Education first at Carnegie-Mellon University and then at Princeton University. In 1978, Bill founded University Associates of Princeton to offer professional education in statistics and management science for corporate clients and practicing professionals across the United States and Europe. He retired in 2003.
Bill was an active member of a range of professional associations including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Society for Quality Control, American Statistical Association, and the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education. In addition to being a founding member of the Princeton Officer’s Society, he was a member of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, English Speaking Union, Nassau Club of Princeton, Princeton Club of New York, and Jasna Polana.
Bill first met his wife of 65 years, Joan Riopelle Ellis, while both were in colleges in Columbia Missouri. They lived in Haddonfield New Jersey, Columbus Ohio, and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania before moving to Princeton New Jersey in 1975. During their 40-year tenure in Princeton, Bill and Joan were active supporters of Princeton Art Museum, Princeton Historical Society, Morven Museum and Garden, Drumthwacket Foundation, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, and Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart. Bill and Joan shared a passion for travel and enjoyed many wonderful trips and adventures around the world. In 2015, they moved to The Oaks Club in Osprey, Florida.
Son of the late Marjorie Woodrum Ellis and Charles William Ellis of Jefferson City Missouri, father of the late Jeffry Riopelle Ellis, and brother of the late Robert Clay Ellis, Bill is survived by his wife, Joan, his children Gregory and Maria, and his grandchildren Keith, Sara, Sophie, Elyssa, and Heather, and his daughters-in-law, Kathleen and Delores, and son-in-law, Jeffrey. A private graveside service will take place at Princeton Cemetery in Princeton, New Jersey.
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