Keith H. Ellis

Keith H. Ellis

Keith H. Ellis, age 91, of Dubuque, was called home suddenly at 10:12 a.m., on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. To honor Keith’s life, funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, January 7, 2019, at Behr Funeral Home, with Rev. Dianne Grace officiating. To celebrate Keith’s life, family and friends may visit from 10:00 a.m., until the time of services at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, January 7, 2019, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. Inurnment will be in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum, with his beloved wife Ginny.

Keith was born on February 5, 1927, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Glenn and Cecelia (Pauly) Ellis.

Keith was a graduate of Dubuque Senior High School, Class of 1944, who went on to attend Loras College for a time, before honorably serving his country with the U.S. Navy during WWII on the U.S. S. Gunston Hall. His military service was very important to Keith, and he was an original member of the East Dubuque Drum and Bugle Corps, the V.F.W., the American Legion Dubuque Post #6, as well as a lifetime member of the NRA. He was extremely proud to have the opportunity to be on the last Honor Flight out of Dubuque on May 20, 2014. Keith was united in marriage to Virginia McMiniment, in January of 1950, at St. Anthony’s Church, and they were blessed with 38 years together and 5 children, before she was sadly called home ahead of him on April 23, 1988. Keith had an excellent work ethic, which he put to good use as a Master Floor Mechanic, starting in 1946 with Turnquist, then Carpetland, and lastly with his son, Mike, as Ellis Installation, for a grand total of 42 years, until his well earned retirement. He was a talented big band drummer, with several local bands, who could have played professionally had he chosen to, and was always happy to share his knowledge and appreciation of music with everyone around him. Keith was a true gentleman, through and through, who always made sure his wife and children were his top priority and were well taken care of. He was a great example to his children of what it means to help your neighbor, and was well known for dropping whatever he was doing to stop and help someone in need, no matter the time of day or night. Keith was also very active with the Boy Scouts of America as a leader when his boys were young, teaching countless young men lifetime skills. We are deeply saddened at the sudden loss of our wonderful father and grandfather, but are grateful to know that he is now finally reunited with his soulmate, Ginny, for all Eternity.

Those left to cherish Keith’s memory include

his 5 children,
Mike (Sandra) Ellis, Dubuque, IA,
Patrick (Vickie) Ellis, Asbury, IA,
Jeffrey (Brenda) Ellis, Dubuque, IA,
Kimberly (Jerry) Teel, Muscatine, IA
and Karen Ellis, Dubuque, IA;

his 8 grandchildren,
Becky (Chad) Strauser, Brian (Matthew Ingraham) Ellis, Jason (Anne-Lise) Ellis, Abby (Dustin) Daufeldt, Keith Ellis, Travis Ellis, Tyler (Michelle) Teel and Samantha (Chad) Widener;

his 13 great-grandchildren,
Christopher, Caitlin, Camryn, Charli, Conner, Sophie, Piper, Avery, Carly, Logan, Bentley, Rylan and Emma;

a sister-in-law,
Patricia McMiniment, Vero Beach, FL;

and several nieces and nephews.

Keith was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Virginia “Ginny” Ellis; 2 brothers, Robert Ellis and Merwyn (Bette) Ellis; and a brother-in-law, David McMiniment.

Keith’s family would like to thank Dr. Jared Freiburger, Dr. Christine Holm, the nurses and staff of Mercy Hospital and Medical Associates, as well as his long time doctor and friend, Dr. Alan Harves, for all of their outstanding care throughout the years.

In lieu of flowers, memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.

View local florists here.


Behr funeral Home
1491 Main St., Dubuque, IA 52001
January 7th, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Funeral Service

Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque' IA 52001
January 7th, 2019 at 11:00 AM

9 condolences for Keith H. Ellis
  1. Bill says:

    I knew Keith Ellis for many years. He was a great guy and hard worker. He could be strict at times but was mostly a good natured happy man to be around. He was active in many organizations and helped/inspired a lot of kids and young adults (especially in Boy Scouts and drum/bugle Corp). I fondly remember that huge Indian teepee he made for scouts (very impressive). HE was a Navy Vet! His big smile will be missed by all. My deepest sympathy to his family for loss of Keith. RIP my friend.

  2. Patty Ellis Patzner says:

    Keith Ellis was my father inlaw for many years even after I would drop off my kids ( Keith R.Ellis & Travis J.Ellis for holidays & peep in to say & Merry Christmas) He is a wonderful man kind , non judgmental, & Loving,he will be missed & remembered!! Him & Ginny raised wonderful smart children,my heart goes out to all , A special Thanks to my former sister inlaw Karen Karen Ellis to stayed & lived with her father Keith caring for him all these years, I have nothing but Love & Respect for her.. My heart breaks for everyone;) A special sorry to my former husband Jeffrey Ellis father of our Sons,Hugs & prayers Jeff, a special Thanks to Brenda Ellis for being there for Jeff.
    My total Love to Mike,& Sandy Ellis from Dubuque & Karen Ellis who to this day still considered me family, hugs & prayers:) Rip Keith Ellis I will never ever forget you or what you taught me:)You can now gone Ginny. Love & Peace to all;) Patty Ellis Patzner

  3. Nick Zwack says:

    Keith was a huge figure in my life. I have a very successful and rewarding music career because of Keith. I still have the practice pad and his parade snare which I began drumming on.

    I was 10 years old when my father died. Keith was right there to help and get me involved in trap shooting. I would visit Keith weekly to reload all my shells from the prior week. I would use all his reload material and he would send me off with a confident smile. I could go on, but

    I will leave you with this last memory; about 14 years ago, I took my three boys over to meet Keith. Before we left, Keith turned to the boys, and with a confident, stern, caring tone said “don’t do drugs, nothing good will come from it.” Thank you Keith for helping me as a youth and for helping me raise my children.

    I suspect there are a lot of people out there with the very same sentiment. Peace be with the Ellis’.

  4. Char Pregler says:

    Jeff and Brenda, I am so sorry for your lost. Jeff, your father sounds like a great guy, I know now where you get it from! Char and Wayne

  5. Diane (Uthe) Trimborn says:

    From the family of Virginia (Earle) Uthe:
    We extend our most sincere condolences to Keith’s children and their families. We will always remember him as “Bud”, which is what the Earle Family fondly called him. May his loved ones find some comfort in the memories that you share together. Our thoughts and prayers to each of you.

  6. Jim and Kim (Pregler) Boxleiter says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. We lived by Keith for many years and he always had a smile on his face. RIP Keith.

  7. Mark Stelken says:

    On behalf of the East Dubuque Drum and Bugle Corps I would like to send our condolences to the family of Mr. Keith Ellis. His service to our organization ( which he helped start ) has allowed us to still be marching 71 years later. Thank you Keith and God Bless you.

  8. Mike Zwack says:

    Keith was one of my lifelong mentors, especially after my dad died. Later in life he supported my decision to join the Peace Corps which changed my life forever.

  9. Sue (Kirch) says:

    While reading the obituary, I learned so much about Keith that I never knew. Hanging out at the Ellis house was always a good time. I’m sorry for your loss. And I’m very happy to have known you all when we were neighbors years ago.

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