Raymond Ellis Obituary
 
In Memory of

Raymond O Ellis Jr.

August 8, 1922 - May 26, 2012
Obituary

Raymond, 89, was born and raised in Auburn, Washington. He was the son of Raymond Otis and Louise (Waters) Ellis. His mother was a classical pianist and music teacher so it was assumed that he would be a talented musician as well. At age 5 or 6 he started with music lessons on the piano, however became disenchanted, probably because of the enforced hours of practice while all the other kids were out playing. It soon became apparent that he was not destined to become a piano virtuoso. It was then decided that he would undoubtedly excel with the violin, it being a classical instrument. The violin lessons ensued and, of course, the...
Raymond, 89, was born and raised in Auburn, Washington. He was the son of Raymond Otis and Louise (Waters) Ellis. His mother was a classical pianist and music teacher so it was assumed that he would be a talented musician as well. At age 5 or 6 he started with music lessons on the piano, however became disenchanted, probably because of the enforced hours of practice while all the other kids were out playing. It soon became apparent that he was not destined to become a piano virtuoso. It was then decided that he would undoubtedly excel with the violin, it being a classical instrument. The violin lessons ensued and, of course, the inevitable hours of practice; his mother gave up believing he would never be a musician.
In the 4th or 5th grade Doc's grade school started a band, music lessons on a band instrument being part of the format. It seemed like it might be fun to him and some of his classmates, so, after looking at what instruments were available, he selected what he thought to be the most exciting, the trumpet. He had a few dollars saved up so he went down to the local pawn shop and bought an old beat up trumpet. His mother didn't require him to practice, so somehow it suddenly seemed like fun.
Doc stayed with the band through grade school, graduated into the junior high band and then the high school band. While in high school he got a job playing in a local dance band. He was surprised that he actually got paid. He saved his money and ultimately bought himself a brand new trumpet. You never saw anyone as proud of a new horn as he was. He was in "Hog Heaven!" Ray also had the lead in some school plays while in high school and enjoyed playing tennis both in high school and college.
When Ray went to college at Washington State College (now University) he played in the college band. This group, however, spent more time practicing than the football team. After a year it was apparent that he was just not going to have time for that. Because a musician's stipend is not great, he decided to work toward being a veterinarian rather than a musician. While at Washington State he was affiliated with the Gamma Xi chapter of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and remained a member for life.
After he completed his first year of Veterinary school in 1943, he joined the US Army during World War II. He chose to be in the infantry and his unit was sent to Attu, in the Aleutian Islands. Two-thirds of his unit was injured or killed in a fierce battle; thereafter he took orders to become an officer. Before the war ended, he was told there was a shortage of men in college and a shortage of veterinarians, so he was ordered to WSU to finish his DVM degree. He remained in the reserves after his active duty, ending his Army career as a captain.
After graduating from WSC Doc came to Oak Harbor in 1946 to set up a veterinary practice, the Island Veterinary Hospital, in an old WWII Quonset hut. He needed $600 to buy the property and was able to get it on a handshake from John Vanderzicht after being turned down by local bankers. He was the first veterinarian on Whidbey Island and covered the entire Island in a predominantly large animal practice. Dr Kent Freer joined him in the 1950's and in 1978 they divided the practice, with Doc continuing in small animal practice. He continued his practice until his retirement in 1994 when he sold the practice to Dr Robert Bishop. There was never a more compassionate and empathetic man, nor a more excellent diagnostician of animals than Dr Ray Ellis.
From a young age on, this depression kid sold vegetables from the family garden, and in summers took a train (his father was a railroad engineer) into the mountains above Auburn and picked buckets of huckleberries, which he sold to townspeople. While in practice he had a large garden behind the Island Veterinary Hospital and in retirement his love of gardening continued. He had a large garden at his farm property on Green Valley Road and supplied many a neighbor with vegetables and berries.
Doc was very involved in the community. He was a member of a very active Jaycees organization, a charter member of Navy League of Oak Harbor, Whidbey Golf and Country Club, the Oak Harbor Elks and the American Legion. He was a member of the WSU Alumni Association, and a 56 year member of the Oak Harbor Rotary Club. He served both as an Oak Harbor City Councilman and the Oak Harbor Mayor for 12 years. He was, for many years, the veterinarian for the annual 3-day Equestrian Event in Oak Harbor, where his daughter Peachie excelled. He served both as an Oak Harbor City Councilman, and was the Oak Harbor Mayor for 12 years. During his tenure the city purchased the acreage that became City Beach, now known at Windjammer Park, and was in the process of establishing the Oak Harbor Marina when he left office. Doc did go on, later in life, to play his trumpet with several local Whidbey Island bands after a number of years of not playing. He belonged to the Community Band, The Hi Tides, and the Sea Notes dance bands. Doc was always a WSU "Coug" supporter. He and Jan had season tickets to their football games for 20 years. They also enjoyed 20 years of Dixieland Jazz festivals in Sacramento.
Doc passed away Saturday, May 26, 2012 with family at his side at Home Place Special Care of Oak Harbor, after residing for 3 years with his wife at Regency on Whidbey Assisted Living facility. He is survived by his wife Jan at the family home, son Ray "Buster" Ellis (LeAnne) of Ellensburg, WA, daughter Marguerite L. "Peachie" (Steve) Butler of Oak Harbor, step-children Alana Morris (Peter) of Mercer Island, WA and Randal V. Koetje (Yan) of Woodinville, WA and a sister, Raymona Balko of Kennewick, WA. Also surviving are grandchildren Gregory (Amanda) Ellis, Kimberly (Tyler) Waite, Timothy Koetje, Daniel Kirk, Sean Hu, Antje and Isak Morris, and Nephew Rayne Beaudoin and numerous extended family.
Visitation for Doc will be held Friday, June 8th from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday June 9th from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM at Burley Funeral Chapel. A Family Service of Interment will take place on Saturday, June 9th at 11:00 AM at Maple Leaf Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at Grace By The Sea Anglican Church, 555 SE Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 9th.
The family suggests donations be made in Ray's name to either WAIF animal shelter, Habitat for Humanity, or WSU Veterinary College. Arrangements are entrusted to Burley Funeral Chapel, where friends may go online at www.burleyfuneralchapel.com to sign a guest register and leave memories for the family.

"Janette: Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and the loss that you are going through. Know that you are in our prayers daily, and we wish the..." Deborah Helm (Woodinville, WA)

This Guest Book has 9 entries. View Complete Guest Book

More Obituaries

Seattle Times, The
Raymond O. "Doc" Ellis dvm Ray Ellis, 89, passed away May 26, 2012 in Oak Harbor, WA. He was born August 8, 1922 in Auburn, WA to Raymond O. &...

Read obituary at Seattle Times, The.

SkagitValleyHerald
Ray Ellis, 89, passed away May 26, 2012 in Oak Harbor, WA. He was born August 8, 1922 in Auburn, WA to Raymond O. & Louise (Waters) Ellis. He...

Read obituary at SkagitValleyHerald.

Personalize Your Tribute

Share photos, videos and more with Legacy Memorial Websites. Find out more.

 
Start Planning Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don't wait. Make your plan online today.
Plan Online Now