Thomas Gordon Ellis


Thomas Gordon (ďTomĒ) Ellis, 78, of Eagle Harbor died Friday, March 5, 2010. He was born in Ishpeming on September 5, 1931, the seventh child of Thomas and Annie Ellis.He grew up in Negaunee and graduated from Negaunee High School in 1949.He served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954 and then attended Michigan Technological University.He married Marcia Gries in 1955.†† They had three children, Timothy Walter, Thomas Gries, and Amy Anne.


Tom earned his bachelorís degree in Chemical Engineering from Tech in 1957 and then moved to Ames, Iowa where he earned a PhD in 1962 from Iowa State University.

After a year of post-doctoral studies, Tom was recruited by Michigan Tech for the new Nuclear Engineering Department. Sadly, Marcia died in 1965.


Tom married Jean Medlyn in the summer in 1968; the couple had two children, David William and Keri Lynn.Tom continued his career at Michigan Tech and served in various roles.In Continuing Education, he had responsibility for Civil Defense contracts in Michigan during the 60s.He also worked with summer programs, developing a concept called A Look at Science that later became the Summer Youth Program.The late 1980s to 1990s saw him as Assistant Dean of Engineering.He helped establish liaisons with community colleges, leading to students completing their baccalaureates at Tech.Two years before retiring in 1998, he returned to teaching in Chemical Engineering.


Community involvement led to serving on the Governorís Commission on Mental Health; UP health initiatives; Eagle Harbor Township Board.He coached Davidís hockey teams for four years; was a charter member of Keweenaw Kernewek, (Cornish heritage); volunteered at Keweenaw Heritage Center and the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. This proud Cornishmanís death coincided with the dayof St Piran, patron of Cornish tin miners.


Tom was an avid outdoorsman and spent many hours sailing, fishing, and waterskiing on Lake Superior; gardening at the familyís homes in Calumet and Eagle Harbor; and motorcycling and snowmobiling in the woods of the Keweenaw.An engineer through and through, he always found time to work on engines or home projects, usually while listening to his beloved classical music.


Tom was predeceased by his parents, sisters Rose, Elaine, Ivy and June and brother Gordon.He is survived by his wife, Jean; five children Timothy (Paula) of Dallas, TX, Thomas, of Eagle Harbor, Amy (Mike) Mantei of Lebanon, OH, David (Dawn) of East Lansing, MI, Keri of Chicago, IL; five grandchildren, Jennifer (Scott) Jervis, Alayna (Ryan) Couch; Mia and Ellie Mantei, and Madeline Ellis and sister Vera Stanaway, Negaunee.


In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, the family suggests memorials to the Keweenaw Heritage Center, c/o Calumet Township, 25880 Red Jacket Road, Calumet, MI 49913.


All who knew Tom are invited to a remembrance and celebration of his long and rich life at the Keweenaw Heritage Center, at the corner of5thand Scott Streets, in Calumet, beginning at 3 pm on Sunday, May 30, 2010.