Robert C. Ellis, permanent resident of Falmouth since 1993 died peacefully at Falmouth Hospital on Saturday June 3, 2023 from complications from a recently broken hip and Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91 years old.
“Bob” was born on September 2, 1931 and grew up in Milton, MA. His father Lester was a civil engineer; his mother Mary was a schoolteacher and pianist. Bob graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1953, and earned an MBA at Boston College and Masters of Library Science from Rutgers University. He worked in business consulting for several corporations including Air France, Arthur D. Little, American Express, Fidelity Bank, Dun & Bradstreet, and AT&T.
As a child, Bob traveled to Falmouth to visit his grandmother Nana Conant, who owned and operated the Conant House Bed and Breakfast. Bob enjoyed working in Falmouth during his summer vacations; he dreamed of returning to Falmouth later in life.
After graduating from college Bob opened his own travel agency, sparking a love of travel that continued through his life. He served as Naval Officer during the Korean War 1954-1957.
He married the vivacious Joanne Hynes from Watertown, MA in 1959. Joanne was an elementary schoolteacher who later taught special education; together they raised 7 children in Scituate, Mass. Bob moved the family to Princeton, NJ in 1975 to further his career. Bob and Joanne were devoted parents, stressing the importance of education. All seven children graduated from college. Bob proudly quipped “in lieu of inheritance we educated our children”.
Bob retired at 63, achieving one of his lifelong dreams by moving to Falmouth in 1993. He remained active in market research, taught English as a second language as well as Sunday School classes. In addition, he authored the book, “Cape Cod Yesteryears – The Life and Short Stories of Eleanor Conant Yeager”. Sadly, Bob’s wife Joanne died in 1998 at age 67 from health complications from mental illness and diabetes. Bob was a devoted caregiver during the last 10 years of her life.
In 2003 Bob married the lovely Pat Sheehan of Scituate, also a widow. Bob and Pat enjoyed nearly 20 years of marriage, sharing a full life and many laughs along the way. Highlights included a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia and spending time with their combined 27 grandchildren. Bob and Pat were devoted lay ministers at St Patrick’s Catholic Church. Bob stressed the importance of positive thinking to his family; he believed in following the Royal Navy code of conduct as an “Officer and a Gentleman”. He was an avid storyteller and had an incredible sense of humor, always ready with a hearty laugh, smile and story.
Bob’s passions included travel, music, literature, and running. He proudly ran the Falmouth Road Race until age 70. He loved old movies such as Gone with the Wind, Chariots of Fire, Ben Hur, and Casablanca. He enjoyed classical music such as Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni saying, “when I enter the pearly gates, that’s the music I want to hear”.
Bob is survived by his wife, Pat Ellis, a retired registered nurse and faithful companion, daughters Elizabeth (Bill) of New Ipswich, NH, Gail (Jeff) of Fair Haven, NJ, sons, Robert Jr. (Bonnie) of Pleasantville, NY, Peter (Merceditas Villanueva) of New Haven, CT, David of Brooklyn, NY, Stephen of Meriden, CT, Bruce (Shelley Bennett) of San Diego, CA, 15 grandchildren, Austen, Sam, Maliya, Ginger, Oceane, Carleigh, Vivian, Devon, Kevin, Catherine, Will, Courtney, Scott, Finn and Kyle, his sister, Rosemary Currant (Ed) of Plymouth, Mass, and sister-in-law Jay Ellis of California. Bob was predeceased by his brother, William.
Bob also leaves behind Pat’s 5 children, Kerry, Dan, Maureen, Paul (deceased) and Kate, and 12 grandchildren, Ayaka, Cayla, Danny, Andrew, Evan, Ella, Katie, Kelsey, Colleen, Zachary, Carly, and Anikate.
The family would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the Staff at Falmouth Hospital, Laurentide Memory Care, Royal Cape Cod Rehabilitation and Southcoast VNA Hospice Services who provided exceptional care and comfort to Bob.
Funeral mass will be held on Monday, June 12th at 10:00am at St. Patrick's Church, 511 Main St., Falmouth. Burial immediately following at St. Anthony's Cemetery, 167 E. Falmouth Highway, E. Falmouth. Arrangements by McKinnon Funeral Home & Cremation Services – Whitman. To leave a message of condolence visit: https://www.mackinnonfuneral.com/
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Bob’s memory to:
1. The Conant House, c/o Falmouth Historical Society 55 Palmer Ave, Falmouth, MA 02540 508-548-4857
2. Catholic Relief Services 228 W Lexington St Balt MD 377-435-7277
3. Wounded Warrior Project - Woundedrwarrierproject.org