22 September 1925 – 19 July 2019

Joyce Ellis

Joyce Ellis, widow of Dr. James Ellis (1999), died in New Milford, Connecticut on Friday, July 19th, at the age of 93. Joyce was a long-time resident of Belvidere (42.+ years) where she and her husband, Jim, raised their family and made their home until 1990, when they retired to Sarasota, Florida. In 2016 she moved to Connecticut to be near her second daughter, Saun (Sandra), where she died peacefully in the aftermath of a stroke.

She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925, daughter of Dr. Robert and Sara Davey, and grew up in near-by New Jersey towns, where she excelled in swimming competitions throughout her youth. She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she was awarded a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1945. She married Jim Ellis the same year and came with him back to his birthplace, Belvidere, where they raised their three children. Joyce was a good friend to many Belvidere residents, young and old alike, and she took part in a wide variety of clubs as well as voluntary social assistance and school and neighborhood activities in Belvidere.

She will be remembered for contributing to and living ideals of diversity and tolerance in an ethnically homogeneous society in a mid-century, middle American small farming town, where she was known not just as “Doc Ellis’s wife” but as a strong-minded progressive in a largely conservative community.

She is survived by her daughters, Dian Ellis Turnheim (Paris, France), Saun Ellis Drohojowska (New Milford, Connecticut), and her son, Robert Buckingham Ellis (Eliot, Maine), as well as her eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her ashes will be interred in the Belvidere Cemetery, joining those of her husband. Any donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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