Visitation will be Saturday, Feb. 23, from 11 a.m. to noon, at Sullivan-Ellis Mortuary, East Moline, with memorial services following at noon. The Rev. Scott Culley will officiate.
J. Ellison was born on Oct. 22, 1929, in Seymour, Iowa, the son of Ellis C. and Wilma N. Miller Gooding. He grew up in a large family in Hampton, in the middle of the Great Depression. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Navy where his older brother already was serving. He became a tail gunner on a Navy torpedo bomber, one of the most dangerous jobs there was. The war ended just in time to bring him safely home, but he had acquired a taste for adventure. He went to Augustana College on the GI Bill, and went to work as an engineer on The Marshall Plan projects all over Europe.
He met Mary 'Mimi' Rainer, the love of his life, in Paris, and they lived in New York, Casablanca and Spain for the next decade. When he came back to the States, he settled his family in the San Francisco Bay Area and later retired from Bechtel Corporation. Late in middle age, he spent countless hours studying at the kitchen table every night to earn his MBA to get better jobs. He had a knack for languages, and became fluent in French and Spanish while living overseas. He loved math and corny puns.
He lost Mimi far too early, in 1997, and went on to live with stubborn independence for 15 more years. Until he was slowed by hip surgery, he loved to walk every day in Golden Gate Park, feeding the ducks and abandoned kittens. He was a devoted dad and was immensely proud of his two grandsons, Harry and Jay.
He is survived by his son, Douglas (Kathryn) Gooding, San Francisco; siblings, Nelda (Monty) Pollner, New Boston, Guelda Reynolds, Hampton, Linda Sullivan, Bettendorf, and Alan (Carole) Gooding, Sycamore. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Ansel Gooding.
Another of the Greatest Generation gone.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) at 201 Alabama St., San Francisco, CA 94103.
Condolences may be made to the family at www.sullivanellisltd.com.
Coal valley, IL Details
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