Katherine Louise “Kay” Ellis, 89 of Fort Worth, died Wednesday, July 22, 2020 in Fort Worth.
Funeral service will be private.
Kay was born in Ziegler, Ill. on May 22, 1931 to Frank and Julia Kolisek. She grew up in Ziegler and Benton, Ill. The family lived in Marshall, Mo. during some of her high school years.
She graduated from high school in Benton and attended Southern Illinois University for one year. She then entered the University of Missouri affiliated St. Louis City Hospital No. 1 School of Nursing and graduated in September 1953.
Kay married Dr. Dick Ellis in 1954. The couple spent the next two years in London, England where he served as a U.S. Air Force medical officer. Their first child arrived in London. The family returned to St. Louis for four years for further surgical training.
In 1960, the family moved to Fort Worth where Kay became a member of the Tarrant County Medical Auxiliary. In 1964 and 1965, the family lived in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Reynoldsburg while Dr. Ellis worked in a Pediatric Surgery Fellowship.
The family returned to Fort Worth in 1965 where they lived to the present.
Kay completed the nurse anesthesia program at Harris Hospital and subsequently worked intermittently as a CRNA at W.I. Cook Children’s Hospital as well as at John Peter Smith Hospital and All Saints Hospital.
Active in medical related auxiliaries, Kay served as president at W.I. Cook Children’s, the Child Study Center (1983) and the Tarrant County Medical Society (1980-1981). She served as an active volunteer at W.I. Cook Children’s Hospital as well as Cook-Fort Worth Children’s Medical Center.
A member of the original volunteer group at Camp Sanguinity, Kay served as a long-time volunteer in the Alexander Eye Clinic at Cook Children’s. In 2009, Cook Children’s Hospital awarded her their Lifetime Achievement Award for her 6,500 hours of volunteer work.
As a very attentive mother and an excellent homemaker, the children attended public schools in west Fort Worth. Her support for her family continued as all three children attended Texas A&M University and professional schools.
Kay also traveled extensively with her husband. The couple visited all of the continents and over 100 countries. She served as an invaluable hostess on the legendary SY Seacloud and other ships while her husband worked as ship physician on 20 “small ship” trips.
She attended surgical meetings regularly with her husband and was known on a first name basis by many prominent surgeons in the USA and several foreign countries. She especially enjoyed outings at a family lake place on Lake Forest Road at Eagle Mountain Lake. She and her husband hosted many visiting friends there.
Kay was preceded in death by her husband, Dick Gibbs Ellis, M.D. on July 12, 2020, a son, Derek Ellis, DDS, her parents, four brothers and five sisters.
She is survived by her son, David Ellis, MD of Dallas; her daughter, Anita E. Harton, JD, LLM, of Atlanta, Ga.; and by seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
The family has designated memorials for Kay to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth at giving.cookchildrens.org.
Visit the online guest book at hawkinsfuneralhomes.com.