Richard "Dick" H. Ellis
Richard "Dick" H. Ellis passed away at Box Butte General Hospital on February 18, 2013, surrounded by his loving wife, Coleen and caring staff of Box Butte General Hospital. A memorial service will be at 2:00p.m., February 22 at the Evangelical Free Church. Memorials may be directed to Gideons, P.O. Box 114, Alliance, Ne 69301 and Box Butte General Health Foundation, P.O. Box 810, Alliance, NE 69301 or the donor's choice. Online condolences may be left at www.jolliffefuneralhome.com. Jolliffe Funeral Home and Crematory in Scottsbluff is in charge of arrangements.
Dick was born December 12, 1930 at Culbertson, Nebraska to Richard and Doris (Adkins) Ellis. He grew up on a farm outside of Trenton, Nebraska, graduating from high school in 1948, after high school he attended and graduated from Kearney State Teachers' College. He married Bonnie L. Mintun of Kearney in December of 1950 and of this union they had four children.
After college in 1952 Dick taught high school industrial arts, driver's education, and coached football, basketball, and track in Ainsworth and later in Pierce, Nebraska. Later he returned to college at the University of Iowa, graduated and began his career as a physical therapist in Alliance at St Joseph Hospital in September 1958. He continued to practice in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Littleton, Colorado; Atchison, Kansas and returned to Alliance in 1971. He made the move from St Joseph's Hospital to Box Butte General Hospital in 1976, setting up shop in his "new" physical therapy department in a "new" hospital. Dick found it near impossible to ever retire from his career of physical therapy, his first retirement from Box Butte General was in 1994; he then worked as a fill-in physical therapist in Valentine and Ord, and contracted with Health and Human Service in Alliance and Scottsbluff. Never really retiring, Dick returned to BBGH, working as a home health therapist and later returned as a part-time therapist for the hospital. His final retirement from the career he loved came in February 2009. Dick made many life-long friendships with his patients and co-workers.
Dick married Coleen Caudle on December 29, 1984 in Alliance. Coleen and her children Curt and Cassie welcomed him with love and open arms.
As an active member of the Evangelical Free Church, Dick served as church chairman, elder, leadership board, teacher, and Listener of Awana children and was also a member and speaker of The Gideons. Dick was a member of the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association.
Along with his love for family, work, and church, Dick was an avid wood worker and carver. He created many rocking and carousel horses for grandchildren and many area children who are now sharing the horses with their own children. Dick's wood shop was always his refuge and many people benefited from his skills and talents.
He is survived by his wife, Coleen of their home. Children son Scott (Barbara Nissen) Ellis of Prague, NE; daughter Sue Gerdau of Prague, Nebraska; daughter Shannon (Tim) Garwood of Alliance; Shelli (Bill) Gialketsis of Las Vegas, NV; Curt (Gail Blehm) Caudle of Denver, CO; Cassie (Gregg Adolphson) of O'Fallon, MO. Ten grandchildren; Tony (Courtney) Piccoli; Jason (Allie) Piccoli; Scott Chleborad; Shaun, Kelly, and Erin Garwood; Reed and George Gialketsis; Ashlie Adolphson; Connor Schmidt and three great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death are his parents and brother Jim Ellis.
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