Ellis B. Anderson was born (in 1926) and raised in Michigan City, Indiana, the son of Esther (nee Nicholson) and Ben (August Bernard) Anderson. Ellis served in the Infantry during World War II, first on Okinawa and then in Korea, where his unit participated in the surrender of the Japanese and the occupation of the country after the war. He returned to college and received an AB with Honors from Indiana University, where he was very active in campus affairs. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then received a JD degree from Indiana University’s Law School and served on the Board of Editors of its Law Journal. In 1990, the Law School honored him by electing him to its Academy of Alumni Fellows.
Following graduation, he practiced Law in Evansville, Indiana for nine years, becoming a partner in the firm of Butt, Bowers & Anderson, oil and gas specialists. While in Evansville, he was active in local, state and national politics, and spent three months in Washington, D.C. with the Special Senate Committee on Chronic Unemployment Problems.
Ellis then was recruited to join the Law Department of Baxter Laboratories in Illinois, a pharmaceutical specialty company. A few years later, he was recruited by another pharmaceutical company, Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., Nutley, N.J., to become General Counsel and head of both General and Patent Law Departments. He was elected Secretary and a member of its Board of Directors and of the Board's Executive Committee shortly thereafter. He was elected, successively, Vice President and then Senior V.P. Roche sponsored his participation in the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Business. He served Roche for 24 years. During that time, he was given responsibilities in addition to law which included taxes, corporate planning and development, corporate licensing, risk management, government and public affairs, human resources, and served as chair of Roche Board's Fiduciary Review (Investment) Committee.
Ellis married twice. His first wife, Adrienne Scotchbrook Anderson, died in 1991. He is survived by their two daughters, Rebecca J. Smith and Katherine A. Nestor, by four grandchildren: Allison, Tyler and Harrison Fontan, and Ben Smith, and four great-grandchildren. Following the death of Adrienne, in 1993 he married Jermain J. Andrews, who predeceased him in 2019. He is survived by two step-children, Jermain J. Steiner and John F. Mueller, and four step grandchildren and 3 step great-grandchildren. He has lived in Evansville, Indiana, Winnetka, Illinois, Essex Fells, New Jersey, and, for over 30 years, in Princeton, New Jersey. He also had a home in Mantoloking, New Jersey for many years.
During most of his adult life, Ellis was active in civic affairs and organizations, including service on boards of schools, family service, churches, and social and cultural organizations including The Nassau Club, McCarter Theatre and the Nassau Presbyterian Church, where he had served on its Session and as chair of its finance committee. Douglass College, his first wife's alma mater, awarded him the Douglass Medal. He was a member of The Nassau Club, Springdale Golf Club and the Bay Head Yacht Club. At time of death, Ellis was living in The Princeton Windrows, a retirement community, of which he was one of the founding residents and was the first resident member of its Board of Trustees, from which service he derived great satisfaction and to which he provided great benefit.