Robert F. Ellis, Jr.
ROBERT FORD ELLIS, JR 1922-2010
Robert F. Ellis, Jr. (Bob) was born July 9, 1922 in Pensacola, graduated from Pensacola High School in 1939, attended Auburn University graduating in 1943 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
He immediately entered the US Army and served in the Seventh Armored Division participating in the Battle of the Bulge and other campaigns in the European Theatre. He was released from active duty in April 1946 with the rank of Captain and served another seven years in the Army Reserve.
After his release from active duty, Bob began his career as a junior engineer with Gulf Power where he had worked during summer breaks since 1940. He was promoted to successively higher positions of responsibility and in 1960 was named assistant general manager. In 1961 he was named vice-president, a Gulf Power director in 1962, and then president in 1969. In 1970, he was elected to the board of The Southern Company and was named Businessman of the year by the Pensacola News Journal.
In 1978, Bob left Gulf Power to become vice chairman of the executive management committee and executive vice president of Southern Company Services where he remained until his retirement from The Southern Company. Retirement didn’t last long as he was soon recruited to become president of the Pensacola Home & Savings Association where he had served on the board of directors since 1962. After leading PH&SA through a successful conversion to Southern Home Savings Bank, Bob again retired at the end of 1984.
A dedicated civic leader, Bob worked hard to give back to the community, participating in many organizations. He was named “Outstanding Jaycee” for 1952-53, served on the County Civil Service Board from 1958-61, was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Pensacola Rotary Club, and served as campaign chairman (1969 – 1970) and then president (1973) for the United Way of Escambia County becoming an honorary board member in 1977. He was a member of the site committee that selected the location for the University of West Florida and served on the university’s board of directors from 1969 until 1976. He was a past president and board member of Associated Industries of Florida, a 33rd degree Mason and member of the Scottish Rite for over 60 years, and served as both a Deacon and Elder for McIlwain Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Bob died February 5, 2010 in Pensacola and was buried at Bayview Memorial Park.