Former Sherman City Councilman Charley Ellis Jr. died Thursday night. The former U.S. Marine and long-time auto mechanic was 58 years old.
Mr. Ellis’ family stated on his social media page that he died of a heart attack. Mr. Ellis was on the Council for two terms, serving from 2001 to 2005 for Place 2. He was also appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the State Bar of Texas, District One Grievance Committee, where he served six years.
On the City Council, Mr. Ellis served alongside John Markl, who plans to serve as a pallbearer at Mr. Ellis’ funeral at 2 p.m. Monday, at Woods Street Church of Christ, with Bro. Jimmy Stegal officiating. Committal services will follow at Fairview Cemetery, north of Ector, with Marine Corps honors at the gravesite. Family visitation at viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Waldo Funeral Home on Sunday.
“He was always a man of integrity and honesty, and always had a smile on his face. He was also more than willing to help anyone who needed it,” Markl said.
Holli Schaub Koster, who covered the City Council for the Herald Democrat when Ellis was a member, said,“Charley was a very dedicated civic servant who consistently pushed for fiscal responsibility in city government, as well as for bolstering core city services such as roads and law enforcement. From a personal perspective, you always knew what you were getting with Charley, because he was as direct and honest as they come — qualities his peers on the City Council, staff, residents, and other stakeholders surely appreciated.”
Sherman businessman Jimmy Vandagriff is another man who called Mr. Ellis a friend.
“We were members of the same church. He got me back in the right spiritual mind. I am a lot closer to God now because of him,” Vandagriff said.
When asked about his friend’s time on Sherman’s City Council, Vandagriff said, “He was the best city councilor we ever had.” Vandagriff said Ellis made decisions from his own mind and heart and didn’t listen to politics. “He should’ve run for mayor,” Vandagriff said. “I think he was going to, but then didn’t. He would have been a good mayor.”
Scott Wall served as city manager for the city of Sherman during Mr. Ellis’ time on the Council. When asked for a comment on Mr. Ellis’ death, Wall said, “Charley was an excellent council member. He showed up prepared for each meeting. Responded to all citizen request and was very dedicated to each Sherman resident. He served on special committees any time he was asked and ran council meetings in the absence of the mayor.
“He was a great supporter of staff and was always good (with) constructive criticism,” Wall said. “Charley was what I call a smart conservative with the citizen’s money. I always valued Charley’s input and enjoyed his Christ-like friendship. His death is a loss to the city, his church and the business community. He will be greatly missed.”