HILLSBORO, Ind. -- An Indiana veteran and farmer who loves to read mail is getting ready to celebrate his 100th birthday!
Ernest Newkirk Ellis was born on February 26, 1917. He grew up in Hillsboro, Indiana before joining the U.S. Navy at the age of 22.
Ellis served on the Destroyers USS Decatur and USS McNair from October 1939 to December 1945.
He was a Chief Yeoman (Petty Officer), known in the Navy as "Chief." These are the men and women who make everything work on a ship.
He received multiple awards during his service including the American Defense Medal; American Campaign Medal; European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal; Philippine Liberation Medal; and Good Conduct Medal.
Ellis returned home to Hillsboro after serving in the war where he farmed for 60 years.
He had a fully operational farm for many years with a dairy operation, cattle, pigs, and grain. As the farming industry changed, Ellis changed his focus on the farm to corn and soy beans.
Ellis married the love of his life, Helen Snyder, on October 20, 1946. They were married for 65 years until she passed away on November 4, 2011 at the age of 84.
Together they had four children and now have seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Ellis shared this advice for life and longevity: "Serve your country, marry a good woman, work hard, make a difference, and love your family."
One of Ellis' favorite things to do is read mail, and his family would like to encourage everyone to send him birthday wishes! If you would like to help Ellis celebrate and send him a birthday greeting, you can mail it to:
c/o Corliss Garrett
PO Box 234
Hillsboro, IN 47949