Cover photo for Janis Ellis's Obituary
Janis Ellis Profile Photo
1928 Janis 2019

Janis Ellis

October 21, 1928 — February 24, 2019


On Sunday, February 24th as she was surrounded by her loving family, the Lord called Janis Ruth Caudill Ellis home.  She was born October 21, 1928 in Ashland, Kentucky, the only child of the late Myrtle Cornette Caudill and Lindsay Caudill of Morehead.

Janis was the proud mother of Jackie Lynn (Roger) Russell, John Jay (Debbie) Ellis, Jean Marie Hurst, and Dr. Jeffrey Lee Ellis. She was the loving grandmother to Todd (Lisa) and Brad “BJ” Russell; Jason (Sara), Jared (Beth) Ellis, Lindsay (Laken) Johnson; Adam and Chris (Melissa) Thomas; Nicholas, Matthew, Tucker, and Jack Roman Ellis; Dr. Gretchen (Geoffrey) Sutton and Scott Hurst. She was the caring great-grandmother to Jacob, Holden, Breelan, Stella, Jay, JW, Braylee, Annie, Cora, and Jackson. In addition to her parents, Janis was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Dr. Laura Ellis and son-in-law Michael Hurst.

Janis married Dr. Jack D. Ellis on November 17, 1949.  A constant example of true love, Jack and Janis were approaching 70 years of marriage in November of this year. Janis was always supportive of her husband in his pursuits in education and the writing of his five books. One of her favorite periods in her life was that of a “Pastor’s Wife” where together they served in Carter, Fleming, Bath, and Mason counties for over 25 years. She also enjoyed the outdoors and had a deep appreciation for the beauty and majesty of God’s nature especially her beloved Kentucky hills.  Janis enjoyed several vacations with her ever-growing family in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

Janis graduated from Breckinridge in 1946 and received a bachelor’s degree in Business from Morehead State University in 1952. She worked as a substitute teacher in one and two room schools throughout Rowan County and as a school librarian in Florida. Understanding the importance of public libraries, Janis was instrumental in getting the library tax passed so we could have a public library in Rowan County. She later worked as the medical librarian at Saint Claire Medical Center.  But, her most fulfilling and rewarding job was being a “stay at home” mom.

Janis was an active member of the Morehead Women’s Club, Saint Claire Auxiliary Board, and a member of the Morehead United Methodist Church for more than 50 years.

Janis fought a long and difficult battle against Parkinson’s Disease over the past 15 years, trying her best not to let it slow her down.  The last few years she pushed through each day as best she could with a smile on her face and enjoyed each day as a blessing.

Throughout her 90 years, Janis touched many lives and it was her desire to be remembered as a Christian who loved the Lord, as a good mother and Granny, and as a caring and kind person.  She was loved by many and will truly be missed.  The family would like to give an extra special thanks to her wonderful caregivers who loved her like family!  Also, a special thanks to Saint Claire Hospice for the exceptional care for the last three months of her life.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Saint Claire Hospice, Saint Claire Foundation, 222 Medical Circle, Morehead, KY 40351 or Morehead United Methodist Church, 227 W. Main Street, Morehead, KY 40351.

Funeral services will be conducted at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in the chapel of the Michael R. Gray Funeral Home in Morehead with Rev. Aaron Mansfield and Rev. Drew McNeill officiating.

Burial will follow in the Lee Cemetery.

Visitation is after 11:00 A.M. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be Todd Russell, B. J. Russell, Adam Thomas, Chris Thomas, Jason Ellis, Jared Ellis, Nick Ellis and Matthew Ellis.

The Michael R. Gray Funeral Home in Morehead is caring for all arrangements.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Janis Ellis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

11:00am - 1:00pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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