Franklin Wayne Ellis

Franklin Wayne Ellis

January 4, 1938 – January 12, 2019

Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Lottie Ellis; brothers, Curtis and Robert; and granddaughter, Virginia “Ginger” Ellis.  He is survived by his wife, Karen; sons: Wayne, Jr., John (Paula), and Joe (Alyssa); grandchildren: Nathan and Sam, Jessi and Abby, Josie, Joel, Elijah, and Malena; brothers, Jim (Sandi) and Ernie (Sharon); sister, Barbara Cozad.

Wayne came to Millard in 1966 and served the district for 31 years as an elementary and secondary principal, opening both Cather Elementary and North Middle School. In May of 1984 he was named Employee of the Month, and in May of 1995 he was named Administrator of the Year.  He was also the NE State Chairman for Membership for Elementary Principals.  He retired in 1997.

Wayne was an avid fisherman. He loved the peaceful quiet of the lake in early morning hours with friends or family by his side.  He also loved game hunting, which reflected his South Dakota upbringing.  He was equally enthusiastic about Ak-Sar-Ben and mourned its passing, but soon came to enjoy Horsemen’s Park.  He seemed to know everyone out there and they knew him!

Wayne’s introduction to being a grandfather came with the birth of Jessi.  He had just retired and took care of her every last Friday of the month.  He grumbled a bit at first but before long was out buying Barbie dolls and a Little Tikes Super Play Kitchen!  He loved the nickname “Papa” that Jessi gave him and it stuck with all the other grandchildren.  Seven months after Jessi, along came another granddaughter, Josie.  After three sons, Wayne finally had two little girls and, oh, what a proud Papa!!  In the next four years, Nathan, Abby, Ginger, and Sammy arrived.  Joel, Elijah, and Malena joined the grandchildren in 2014.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, Jan. 17th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel.  SERVICES: Friday, Jan. 18th at 11am at Faith Westwood Church, 4814 Oaks Lane.  Interment, Voss Mohr Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to March of Dimes.



  • Jan Amdor Posted January 13, 2019 10:43 pm

    I am so sorry to hear the news of Wayne’s passing. I will always remember what a wonderful principal he was at Cather Elementary School. He will be missed.

  • Bob Patterson Posted January 14, 2019 3:51 pm

    We were sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. He was principal at our kids elementary, and I taught with Karen. He will be missed.

  • Cathi and Gene Arnold Posted January 14, 2019 7:10 pm

    Our love and heartfelt sympathy to the family of “Mr. Elle” as our kids lovingly called him. He was a wonderful man and Principal!! He will be long remembered!! How lucky we were all the years at Cather!! The best of times!!

  • Barb Wilson Posted January 15, 2019 6:34 pm

    Wayne was my principal at Cather when I started there until he retired. He was an advocate for the teachers and a wonderful principal. He will be missed and remembered by all the Cather families and teachers. My condolences to his family.

  • Steve Moore Posted January 15, 2019 8:00 pm

    Love to Wayne and his family. Wayne was my principal at Millard North Middle School. He was a wonderful student advocate. Loved his students, parents, teachers, staff! Steve & Jan Moore

  • Bob Lykke Posted January 16, 2019 4:52 pm

    Wayne Ellis cared deeply about the students and the staff who worked for him. When the chips were down, they knew they could count on Wayne. As an elementary counselor, I learned a great deal about leadership from this man. He helped this Millard “rookie” so very much in 1969-74. I’ve been forever grateful of this. Mary and I have always considered Wayne, Karen and family to be ambassadors for the Millard Schools. Kaen and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Wayne has made such a difference to many of us. We send our love from Tucson. Bob and Mary Lykke

  • Joanne Hinchclif Posted January 16, 2019 5:32 pm

    What a great man and human being Wayne was…Karen,God got a good one!! Many thoughts and prayers to you and your family…blessings.

  • Teri Nolting Posted January 16, 2019 10:23 pm

    Wayne was my first principal and I’m proud to call him a friend. Cathers’ students, parents, and staff benefited from his leadership. Those were some great years. Karen and family my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Julie Lammel Posted January 17, 2019 10:22 am

    Mrs. Ellis, Wayne, John, and Joe – my thoughts are with you today and in the many days ahead. We certainly shared a lot of “Millard” and Ohern St. – neighbors, classmates- so many good memories.

  • Nila Posted January 17, 2019 11:30 am

    I was lucky enough to know Wayne while involved in the Region II Principal’s group. What a genuine person he was. From time to time, I would stop by Cather to call upon his expertise and ultimately began to not expect to find him in his office. Instead, the secretary would typically point me to the playground where he would spend his noon hours interacting with the students. Later, I was fortunate to serve as Cather’s principal, but no matter how hard I’d try, I could never fill his shoes. Indeed, Wayne was simply the BEST! Hugs to Karen and his family!

  • Rich & Laura Roccaforte Posted January 17, 2019 12:01 pm

    Karen , Wayne JR, Jr, John & Joe, We have really nice memories of Wayne. We want to share our condolences with you and are sorry that we won’t be with you for Wayne’s services. You are all in our thoughts. Love, Rich and Laura

  • Stan Hale Posted January 17, 2019 1:33 pm

    I was saddened to learn of the passing of Wayne. He was a good friend, colleague an outstanding Principal. He was the first one I met when I came to the Millard Schools. His friendship and advance will always be remembered. My condolences to Karen and his family. He touched many lives and will always be remembered. God Bless.

  • Barb Grabowski Coleman Posted January 17, 2019 5:10 pm

    Wayne was a wonderful principal and friend. He will be missed.

  • Donna Richards Posted January 18, 2019 11:03 am

    Karen, my heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Robert Larsen Posted January 18, 2019 11:37 am

    I’m so sorry to see you go Wayne. You and my Dad had some exciting and memorable times together! I’ll always remember you and Gene as ‘founding fathers’ of our neighborhood in The Oaks.

  • Jerry and June Denkinger Posted January 18, 2019 12:19 pm

    We were saddened to hear of Wayne’s passing. Wayne was a great principal, a wonderful friend and a super caring individual. The friendship we developed through our work and travel together bring to mind so many fond memories. We will always cherish our friendship with you and Wayne, Karen. Our sincere condolences to the entire Ellis family. Though we are in Arizona, we will be with you in love and spirit. Blessings, Jerry and June Denkinger

  • Madaline L Williams Posted January 18, 2019 2:37 pm

    Hi Karen, So sorry–Wayne was my favorite principal and a good friend.

  • Arla Pribnow Posted January 23, 2019 8:51 pm

    I , also have fond memories of Wayne while teaching in Millard Schools. His sons were in elementary school with our daughters at Norris. I know he will be missed. We live in Memphis now.

  • morry hanson Posted January 25, 2019 9:32 am

    Wayne was a great friend of mine in High School. We played football together and hunted together. He will be truly missed by me and my wife Judy Kay.

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