John Pierce Ellis
John Pierce Ellis, recently of Kilgore, Texas, and formerly of Atlanta, Texas, died on May 25, 2021, in Atlanta, Texas, after a prolonged illness.
John Pierce was born in Atlanta, Texas, on February 25, 1945, to parents, Forrest Pierce Ellis and Willie Marie Hanner Ellis. He attended the Atlanta public schools and graduated from Atlanta High School in 1963. He continued his education at Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and manager of the Texas A&M football team under the leadership of Coach Gene Stallings.
After obtaining his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M in 1967, John Pierce spent two years as an Army officer stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas. He later attended Gupton Jones School of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas, where he graduated valedictorian. John Pierce returned to Atlanta to join his family’s funeral and insurance businesses.
Community service was important to John Pierce, and he always credited his father, F.P. Ellis, and uncle, Herschel Hanner, for setting the example. During a single year in the 1970s, John Pierce served as president of the Atlanta Lions Club, president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and on the United Methodist Church administrative board.
By the mid-1980s, John Pierce had followed the path blazed by his father, a former Atlanta mayor, by serving on the Atlanta City Council for 12 years and earning the Chamber of Commerce man of the year honor.
John Pierce was preceded in death by his parents Forrest Pierce Ellis and Willie Marie Hanner Ellis.
John Pierce is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Brenda Rogers Ellis of Kilgore, Texas, daughter Amanda Ellis and husband Brian Cuban of Dallas, Texas, son Josh Ellis and wife Stephanie Ellis of Tyler, Texas, sister Marie Powell and husband Rev. James Powell of Columbia, Missouri, mother-in-law Dixie Rogers of Kilgore, Texas, and grandchildren Benjamin Hanner Ellis and Sloane Marie Ellis of Tyler, Texas.
The family would like to especially thank friends and doctors Dan Nichols and Tim O’Kelley, the staff of Golden Villa Nursing & Rehab, and caregivers Margie Williams and Tracy Walker with Hands of Wisdom.
Visitation was held from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Hanner Funeral Service.
Funeral services were at 2:00 pm, Saturday, May 29, 2021 at Hanner Funeral Service Chapel, with Rev. James Powell and Dillion Manley officiating.
Interment followed in Pine Crest Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First United Methodist Church of Atlanta or the Atlanta Education Foundation.