Monte J Ellis, RIP, July 23, 1939 – June 3, 2009, 69 yrs

June 3, 2011

Monte passed away two years ago from today.  He was 69 years of age.

With his passing, so many answers about his art and influences will remain unknown.  Many, through years of conversation with him, are known, but just as many are not and never will be.   As previously typed and re-typed, the one thing known for sure and something that can never be pointed out enough, was Monte’s love and passion for the natural world.  From its beauty to its horrific brutality, Monte’s respect, wonder and love for nature never wavered.

A few weeks ago, Eric, John Morrow and Mark Holloway gathered together like in the past.  Of course this time, Monte was not present.  The spots usually visited when the four of them would gather in the past were stopped by.  These spots included the Emiquon Refuge near Havana, the Banner Dike Road, the east end of E. Monterey Road, the area of the N. Duck Island Road and other country spots.  When Monte was alive, he would speak of how things used to be and the history of the area.  Sadly, with time, changes occur and not all are for the best.  The appeal of the area at the end of the Banner Dike Road has diminished because the city of Canton has built a monstrosity of a water pump house.  Also, until recently, a person could drive on a gravel road off of the N. Duck Island Road that would lead to the dam that separates Rice Lake from Big Lake.    This road is now blocked by a locked gate.

Above is a photograph of Monte and his children, Eric and Kathy.  Kathy is holding a young Fritz.  Fritz was well-known for being one of the meanest creatures around except when it came Sharyl, Monte’s wife.

Above is a photograph of Eric, Kathy and Monte arriving at Big Lake by boat due to flooding of the Illinois River.

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