Robert Mayer Ellis of Bedford (formerly of Beech Grove and Bloomington), 87, passed away peacefully on January 20, 2021. Bob was born on February 20, 1933, in Lincoln, IL. He was the second son of William Spotswood Ellis II and Mildred Mayer Ellis. Bob was raised in a happy home by his uncle and aunt, Hardin and Irma Ellis. Bob married his dream girl, Janet Lee Morse, on June 10, 1956, and Janet survives him.
Bob graduated from Atlanta (IL) High School in 1951 and completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at Oberlin College in 1955. He then entered the U.S. Army, serving as a medic from 1955-1958. Upon his discharge, Bob began a distinguished career as a biochemist at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. He toiled tirelessly at Lilly for 35 years, retiring in 1993. While at Lilly, Bob worked on many high-profile projects, including his breakthrough research in developing the first artificial insulin, which has led to life-saving treatments for millions of people. Bob was quietly and rightfully proud of the impact his work has had on diabetics around the world over the last 60 years.
Bob was even more proud of his family. He and Janet raised three wonderful daughters who survive him: Ruth Bryant (Mike) of Lee’s Summit, MO; Lynn Titche (Charlie) of Bedford; and Heather Kostella (Matt) of Verona, PA. Dad was extremely honored that his daughters chose science and education as their life pursuits. His constant encouragement and unending support of his children shaped his daughters’ lives (and their families’) immeasurably. Bob was even more gratified that his girls have carried on his and Mom’s Christian values and lifestyle. Dad’s devotion to his faith and dedication to service in God’s name will affect lives long after his passing. Dad also leaves six grandchildren who have been blessed by his loving ways: Dean, Amanda, James and Lauren Bryant; and, Miles and Isaac Titche.
Amateur inventor, lover of animals and nature, strategic mower of lawns and snow-plower to all in his neighborhood - Bob never said “no” to a friend, family member or someone in need. Bob was giving to all, caring and quick to help. Emblematic of his love for others was his long, kind porch conversation with a complete stranger while Bob was having a heart attack, unwilling to leave a down-and-out soul when his own life was in danger. Bob was a long-time member of both Bethany Lutheran Church in Indianapolis and St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington (IN). His beautiful tenor filled many a chapel with glorious tones.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date, likely at his beloved second home, Lutheran Hills. Gifts in remembrance of Bob may be offered to Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOMIK), the Parkinson’s Foundation, or Fellowship Of Christian Athletes.