Wayne Ellis, retired Virginia Tech Air Transportation Services pilot and beloved friend, passed away on April 20.

Everett Wayne Ellis was born on Aug. 20, 1943, to William Bryce and Nellie Rose Spangler Ellis in Sinks Grove, West Virginia.

Ellis graduated from Union High School in Union, West Virginia. He attended Concord College on a baseball scholarship.

He had a successful and storied career in air travel. Prior to his retirement, Ellis was a pilot for Virginia Tech Air Transportation Services, where he provided top-notch flights for members of the university community. Ellis also flew crop dusters in central Virginia and served as a flight instructor.

Ellis’ life was dedicated to service to others. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves and a United Methodist Church minister dedicated to nine churches in the Sinks Grove, West Virginia, area. Ellis also served as a sponsor to many in the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

He was known for his talent in and love for music, philosophy, ethics, and politics. Ellis enjoyed golf, fishing, and spending time at Smith Mountain Lake. In his retirement, he worked to restore a boat. 

Ellis is survived by his children Gary Hurt, Anne Hearp, Brian Ellis, and David Ellis; longtime partner, Tracey Palame; former wife, Anna Ellis; and many grandchildren, nieces, and great-grandchildren.

Ellis is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Howard “Sonny” Ellis; and sister, Mary Jo “JoJo” Ellis.

Ellis’ full obituary is available online.

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