It is with sincere sorrow that I announce the passing of Spartan All American Jimmy Ellis.
Charles Ellis, brother of Jimmy Ellis, called me today to inform me of Jimmy’s unexpected passing today, 1/16/2009. Jimmy died of an apparent heart attack at the Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, IL.
Jimmy Ellis, born March 20, 1930 in Belzoni, Mississippi, was the first MSU Football player to win All-American honors back to back in his sophomore and junior years. Jimmy played in 28 Spartan football games from 1951-1953 and helped his teams win 27 games including the 1954 Rose Bowl game against UCLA, 28-20.
After his college career Jimmy went into the military for two years and then returned to have a short stint with the Cleveland Browns. He then pursued a career in Canada to play in the Canadian Football League for two years with the Toronto Argonauts.
Jimmy taught for 15 years in the Chicago school system and then pursued a career as a business man in the city of Chicago. He was involved in amateur football and softball in the inter city Chicago league and enjoyed umpiring softball games as well. Upon retirement Jimmy resided in Chicago till his death.
One of Jimmy’s greatest accomplishments, in his own words, was being selected to the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame several years back. As a high school player in Chicago and then Saginaw, Michigan, Jimmy received eight(8) college offers and selected Michigan State based on Biggie Munn’s treatment of him as an individual and how welcomed Biggie made him feel.
Funeral Arrangements are as follows:
Saturday January 24, 2009 at Slaughter’s Funeral Home, 2024 East 75th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60649, Phone: 773-643-5355
1:30 PM Visitation with the Family
2:00 PM Funeral Services