Ellis Family Support

February 27, 2010

With all of Monte’s talent, from the artistic to the musical, none of it would have been possible if not for an extremely wide and deep group of supporters.   It is quite possible there are even others out there not known about because Monte has passed away and can’t be asked.

Below is a photograph of Monte’s parent’s Zelma and John Ellis later in life.

Zelma passed away in 2003 and John in 2004.  Not enough good things can be written about these two people.  Zelma and John raised six boys, each of who were successful in their own ways.   The best way to describe the way they led their lives and raised their nuclear family and influenced the development of the branching-out limbs of their expanding family, is to be able to make the honest claim, their lives was the epitome of living the American Dream.

When it comes to Zelma, unfortunately, some today incorrectly assign the word “homemaker” with less respect than it deserves.  During their lives, Zelma’s “homemaking” skills were ones for a person to be proud of.  Along with providing tangible needs for her family, Zelma was also instrumental for instilling important humane values to those in her family.   Zelma was one of those people where if you disappointed her, then you knew you really messed up and it was through no one’s fault but your own.  Throughout her life, she was a hard-working, kind, generous and pleasant person.  When it came to commenting on the character of other people, if she had nothing good to say about a person, than she would not say a thing at all.

All through his life, Monte was always concerned with the opinion of his mother and did the best he could to avoid her ire.

John was an extremely hard worker and seemed to never tire.  After putting in a long day at a local factory, he would then come home and put in just as many hours in their huge garden or on other tasks.  Physically fit all of his life, John was not one to shy from hard work, even later when in his seventies and eighties.  He was also a premiere fisherman and skilled enough to knit his own hoop and trammel nets.  John was also a staunch Democrat.  Later in life during the second Bush presidency, he would remark how the Democratic Party was finished and just waiting to be buried.  Most likely, he would have been amazed at the shifting  political landscape in 2008 and how quickly his Democratic Party rebounded (though he still would probably be disappointed in the plight of the government’s behavior toward the working man).   John was also widely intelligent and when given the opportunity, a wonderful conversationalist on a variety of subjects.

John and Zelma’s work ethics definitely had an impact on Monte, however, there was an area of resentment regarding Monte’s feelings toward his father.  This resentment deal with Monte’s perception of how his father viewed wildlife and the natural world.  In Monte’s view, he felt his father thought wildlife and nature existed  for the use of Man and for them to be used at Man’s leisure and in any way Man saw fit.  There is one story Monte would tell, where as much younger, he was in the presence of his father when hunting and the hunted animal was being killed more for sport than for eating.  This experience greatly troubled Monte and stayed with him for a very long time.  As explained earlier, while Monte did enjoy eating wild game and bore little, disgust toward those who did hunt for the pleasure of eating the game, he thought differently of the killing of wildlife for the mere sport of just killing an animal.

Several things should be pointed out in John’s defense when it does to come hunting.  The first is, when John was young, as the stories are told, animals for hunting were extremely plentiful, especially waterfowl.  Many times, hunters of many years ago would brag of how the sky was black with flying ducks.  Another thing is later in his life, John’s views on hunting and the environment did somewhat change.  At the end of the day though, it’s probably not disputed that John enjoyed fishing more than hunting and was much better at it, too.

In his later years, Monte would lament how he should have worked harder to be closer to his own father.

Above is a photograph of the John Ellis family and five of the sons.   Top row, from left to right, Zelma holding Fred, Monte, John holding Jared. Bottom row sitting, left to right, Larry and Lonnie.  Their brother Jon had not been born yet (regarding this, Monte would often tell how it was awkward for him when around his peers to explain a pregnant mother while he was so “old”).

Below is a photograph of  Monte, Monte and Sharyl’s daughter Kathy, Monte’s younger brother, Jon, and Monte and Sharyl’s son, Eric.  This photograph is from when the Monte Ellis family lived at “Big Lake.”  It’s hard to see in this image, but Jon is pretending to strike Monte with a hammer in his right hand.

The Monte Ellis family were quite fortunate to have the family they did.  At different periods, it was not uncommon for money to be tight for the Monte Ellis family and Sharyl would often point out if not for the larger Ellis family (and her own), including Monte’s brothers, Christmas time for the young children of Monte and Sharyl would have been much different from what they were.

The total impact of the influence Monte’s family had upon his ability to ply his craft, both financially and otherwise, is impossible to be completely described in the manner deserved.

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