June 4, 2014

Obituary: Clarence ‘Skip’ Ellis

He grew up in a poor part of Chicago as one of five children. Winning a scholarship to Beloit College in 1960 launched him on a lifelong passion for education. He graduated in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree, double major in math and physics, and then went to further schooling at the University of Illinois. His academic experience includes teaching at Stanford University, the University of Texas, MIT, Stevens Institute of Technology, and in Taiwan under an AFIPS overseas teaching fellowship. Skip is noted for being the first black man to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1969, but he was so much more.

During his college years, he met his first wife, Anna Yang, and together they had two children, Delilah and Damon. Anna passed away in 2001 and he later found love again with Lynn St. Pierre of Boulder.

Skip and Lynn traveled the world for several years, visiting parts of India, Europe and Africa. In doing so fulfilled their passion for teaching in developing countries.

Skip was an amazing human being who gave back on so many levels. He loved Africa, Ashesi University, international folk dancing, sweets of any kind (literally), his extended family and his students, many of whom became lifelong friends.

Skip’s family will miss him dearly: Wife, Lynn St. Pierre; Daughte, Delilah; son-in-law, Scott; granddaughter, Hendrix; grandson, Samuel; son, Damon; son, Josh; and many in his extended family.

A memorial service was held May 22. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to “Education Worldwide” or his beloved Ashesi University in Ghana (http://ashesi.org/).