BELFAST - Robert Hoffses "Papa" Ellis, 98, cherished husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and retired civil engineer, died Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at his home at Penobscot Shores, Belfast.
Born July 13, 1915, in North Anson, son of Irvin and Edna (Hoffses) Ellis, Bob graduated from Anson Academy, class of 1933, and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps with his brother John, serving for two years in Flagstaff. In 1935, he went to work for the Maine Department of Transportation. In February of 1941, he married his high school sweetheart, Wilma Bailey, and they celebrated 67 years of life together until her death in 2008. Drafted in 1943, Bob served in Company L 3rd Infantry Regiment during World War II in France and Germany, and was discharged with the rank of sergeant, May 11, 1946.
Returning to work for Maine Department of Transportation, he passed the state licensing exam for civil engineering in 1950 and remained with the state highway department until his retirement as assistant state maintenance engineer in 1975, after 40 years of public service. A 70-year member of Northern Star Masonic Lodge 28, Bob was a 32nd degree Mason and member of the Valley of August chapter of The Ancient Scottish Rite.
Next to Wilma, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Bob loved gardening, his precious Boston Red Sox, dancing to Guy Lombardo, hunting and trout fishing and a game of golf in his younger days; jig saw puzzles and the daily Jumble, a good game of bridge, a great steak and nice sharp cheddar, listening to the Tennessee Waltz and hearing Elvis sing "How Great Thou Art."
He loved life and said at his 98th birthday in July 2013, "I'm a lucky fella. I've had a pretty good run!"
Bob is survived by his children, Roberta Martino, of Plymouth, Mass., and James Ellis, of Burnham and Kingfield; his grandchildren, Andrew Martino, Kathryn Dawson, Joseph Martino and Megan Valente; six great-grandchildren, Jane, Alexander and Owen Dawson, Ana and Ellis Martino, and Baylee Valente; and a very special friend, Donna Clark. His wife, Wilma, brothers Clarence and John Ellis, and sisters Ruth and Amanda Houghton, predeceased him.
Family and friends are invited to Penobscot Shores Library on Feb 1, 2014, at 2 p.m. to honor Bob's life and share stories.
A memorial celebration of the life of Robert H. Ellis will be held at the United Community Methodist Church, North Anson, in the spring. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.ripostafh.com.