James Earl Ellis, 54

Graphic artist

May 09, 2007

James Earl Ellis, a retired graphic artist and sign painter, died of heart failure May 1 at Northwest Hospital Center. The Woodlawn resident was 54.

Mr. Ellis was born in Baltimore and raised in Sykesville and Eldersburg.

At South Carroll High School, he earned letters in football, wrestling and track. He also took all-county honors in football.

After graduating from high school in 1972, he attended the Maryland Institute College of Art.

During the past 30 years, he worked for several commercial art firms in Baltimore.

In 2003, when he retired because of failing health, he was working for National Distributing Co. designing and producing advertising material found in liquor stores.

Mr. Ellis also owned a sign company that specialized in truck lettering and was associated with Servpro in Westminster, where he produced metal signs.

He was a former member of Johnsville United Methodist Church.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. today at the Jeffrey N. Zumbrun Funeral Home, 6028 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg.

Surviving are a son, James Tyrone Ellis of Westminster; a brother, Jerome Ellis of Eldersburg; four sisters, Margaret Jones of Baltimore, Elaine Grant of Rockdale, Gloria Grenway of Randallstown and Mary Ellis of Pikesville; five grandchildren; and his companion of 10 years, Annie Hill. His marriage to the former Tijuana Grooms ended in divorce.

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