Merwyn Bennett Ellis, 83, of Salt Lake City, Utah, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on November 29th, 2022, after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born on Halloween, October 31st, 1939, to Robert Wyman Ellis and Marian Bennett Ellis. He spent his early years in the Seattle area and one of his fondest memories was flying in a pontoon plane high above Gig Harbor piloted by his dad. Following the divorce of his parents, he relocated to Salt Lake City with his mom and two brothers where he remained the rest of his life.
Merwyn graduated from South High School in 1957 and later earned a business degree from the University of Utah. He served an LDS mission in the New England States mission which included Eastern Canada, where he developed a love for the Canadian nation, culture, and its people. Merwyn was a dedicated lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in numerous callings from the Stake High Council to Stake Missionary President, but his favorite callings involved working with the young men. Merwyn served 6 honorable years in the U.S. Army Reserve and was always proud of his military service to his country.
Merwyn married Arlene Whitaker on November 5th, 1965, in the Salt Lake Temple. Together, they had four children and he enjoyed being their dad more than anything. He never missed any of their activities, whether it was watching his boys play sports or his daughter’s cheerleading. His work ethic was unmatched as he grew up in humble circumstances and wanted nothing more than to ensure his kids had those things that he never had. He worked for both Inkley’s and Security National Life Insurance for over 30 years. As a young boy he sold night crawlers, and this business venture would continue well into his married life. There was no one that could match Merwyn’s ability to catch a bucket of worms.
Two of Merwyn’s passions in life were watching University of Utah football & basketball and the Utah Jazz. He was a die-hard University of Utah fan, and his favorite team was the Utes or any team playing BYU! Merwyn loved to share the story of how he hitched a ride on an Army Transport plane in 1964 to watch his Utes play in the Liberty Bowl in Atlantic City, NJ. He was a Utah Jazz season ticket holder, attending their inaugural game at the Salt Palace and every game each season until his health would not allow it. During those early years he worked for the Utah Jazz as a statistician. He loved the experience of working on his Utah Jazz Stat crew. Often, he was assigned the responsibility of the 24 second clock, and we are certain he always gave the Jazz an extra second!
Merwyn was President of Cottonwood’s Ute Conference football league for several years. He served as President of the Cottonwood High School Booster Club. He gave generously of his time to Cottonwood High School and played a key role in the building of their baseball field.
Merwyn was always willing to help anyone out, whether it be shoveling snow off the neighbor’s driveway or helping a friend in need. He was a model of selflessness. While the last years of his life were filled with suffering and difficulty, he remained faithful and loved the Lord. Helen Keller stated “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched…They must be felt with the heart”. Merwyn’s life reflected this approach, and he always had a tender heart for those in need. He endured to the end with his family in peace. We know how blessed and lucky we were to have someone that made saying goodbye so hard.
Merwyn was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Robert Ellis and Dale Ellis. He is survived by his wife Arlene Ellis, his four children, Mark Ellis, Draper, Utah, Angie Cannon (Patrick), Honeyville, Utah, Paul Ellis (Aimee), Kaysville, Utah, Allison Florence (Tyson), Mesa, Arizona, his two half-siblings Steve Ellis and Mary Inge, along with 13 Grandchildren.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of Willow Wood Care Center for their compassionate and loving care they provided for Merwyn.
Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 12:00 noon at the South Cottonwood 16th Ward Building located at 6350 South Rodeo Lane in Murray, Utah. Prior to the funeral, family and friends may visit for the viewing on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Interment will be held at Memorial Mountain View Mortuary following the funeral service.Service Information
Viewing December 6, 2022 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Cottonwood 16th Ward Building
December 6, 2022 at 12:00 PM
Cottonwood 16th Ward Building