Dedicated to the memory of Bill

This page has been set up to celebrate the life of William Hamilton Ellis. William was many things in live, a beloved husband of 49 years to his wife Norma, a devoted father to both Stephen and Kerry, an admired father-in-law to Kai and a doting Grandfather to Mia and Oliver. He also had a mutual fondness for Stephen’s partner Mel. However, it is fair to say that Bill was more than this to all that knew him. He had a huge heart, was exceptionally kind of spirit and generous both with his time and knowledge. Bill always showed strength, determination and humility through times of adversity and expressed both compassion and understanding.

We would like to thank you for respecting our families decision to hold a private cremation. We have scattered Bill's ashes under the Big Oak Tree at Clayton Wood Natural Burial Ground. This was chosen to honour his love of the area and the many long hours he spent enjoying riding his bike on the Downs overlooking the woods. 

Please feel free to add any memories or pictures that you have of Bill to this page. We hope that you enjoy the trip down memory lane in the gallery.

Some words from Kerry and Stephen

Dear Dad,
Thank you for being the person that you were, you gave me so much throughout my life. I could always depend upon you for guidance, strength and the occasional pulling back into line. During my childhood, you parented with fairness and firmness. I always knew where I stood and that you would show a tenderness and understanding despite us not always seeing eye to eye.
As I grew up, I began to realise that there was something remarkable about you. Everyone loved you, you were the ‘Cool Dad’ without even trying. You had an ease around all that met you, I was so proud to call you Dad.
You provided Stephen and I with all the opportunities in life that you could, I will always be grateful for this. Somehow you and Mum found the time to broaden my horizons and experience the world in so many ways. Supporting me through university and encouraging me to follow my heart and move to Australia.
As I became an adult, you continued to support me, you embraced Kai into our Family and having you walk me down the aisle on my wedding day was and is still one of my happiest moments in life. Then seeing you hold my first born in your arms was magical. Although we were miles apart, Mia and Oliver loved you and felt loved by you. You were always so kind to them and showed them unconditional love with all the perks of being a grandparent. Your visits to us in Australia were such wonderful times. We had you and mum all to ourselves for quality time that meant so much to us all.
Dad I miss you so very much,
I will love you forever and always,
Your Daughter Kerry x

I am not sure how to approach this.
My Dad always tried his hardest to make sure we had everything we needed as we grew up. From working long hours to provide for the family to becoming the Chairman of the Dyslexic Association which helped better understand what Dyslexia is and how to adapt to it in life. You also fought hard to ensure I got the best education available through attending a school dedicated to children with Dyslexia. I am certain that I would have had a very different outcome in life if you had not provided me with this opportunity. With this foundation I was able to follow in your footsteps and become a Licensed Aircraft Engineer.
This devotion ensured I became the man I am today, the man you always knew that I could be.
I have worked in many different countries, doing a variety of different jobs, this is because of the work ethic that you and Mum instilled in myself and Kerry. Through your example I understood the value of hard work and its rewards. You showed an exceptional level of professionalism and high standards in all that you did and all around you learnt and benefited from this. Even after your retirement you were always just a phone call away to offer help and advice both professionally and in my private life.
Thanks to my dad I am the person that I am today. I see this in the way I help others to understand things whilst teaching them I can always hear my father’s kind voice and know that I am channelling him through my words.
I will always be thankful for the times we spent together fishing and putting the world to rights. You understood me and we shared a similar sense of humour. You had time for me when I needed to download and reset. I so loved the Barbeques that we had as a family. I am glad that you were able to meet Mel and that you two got on so well, thank you for welcoming her into our family.
I wish we had more time together.


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Thoughts

Goodbye to you, my trusted friend We've known each other since we were nine or ten Together we've climbed hills and trees Learned of love and ABC's Skinned our hearts and skinned our knees Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die When all the birds are singing in the sky Now that the spring is in the air Pretty girls are everywhere Think of me and I'll be there We had joy, we had fun We had seasons in the sun But the hills that we climbed Were just seasons out of time This verse and chorus from the 1973 song Seasons in the Sun, pretty much tells of Bill’s and my friendship over about 12 years. At 8-9 years old, we met in Standard 1 (grade 3) in 1959 at the local junior school. The picture in the photograph section shows the two of us dressed up as circa 15th Century Portuguese soldiers for a school play in about 1961. Along with learning our ABC’s together, we rode our bicycles everywhere, be it for fishing at the local dams, watching motor cycle mud scramble races etc. Other activities included listening to LM radio on our home made cat’s whisker radio sets, or running around the garden shooting at each other with our pellet rifles. No one was hit or hurt. Once we went a farm about 35 Kilometres from home. I am not sure if we used the motor bike shown in the photograph posted, or if it was the predecessor to it that was built from bits and pieces collected from motor cycle second hand spares shops. About half way there, down came the rain. Well, once you are wet, you cannot get any wetter. We both had Morris Minors, Circa 1954, and spent hours “hotting them up”, polishing con rods and head ports to coax every last bit of horsepower out of those poor little 800 cc motors. One evening we went to a coffee shop called The Gloworm, to meet his girlfriend Norma. He also wanted to find a lovely girl for me, so one afternoon we walked down Russell Avenue to a neighbour so he could have his hair cut. It was there that he introduced me to Johanna, my now wife of 47 years. A most unfortunate disagreement and misunderstanding ended this time of friendship around 1972. Fortunately, I was able to make contact with Bill when we went to England in 2011 and we were able to part as friends. The other photographs that I have posted are of that meeting where Bill and Norma very kindly drove up to Eastleigh to meet us where we were visiting other friends. Please accept our love and condolences on the passing of a great husband, father and man. Ray and Jo Davies.
Ray
December 19th, 2021
We have been friends for the years since Tony met Bill in 1969? Tony was working for Van Leer Packaging at the time and Bill for Air Rhodesia. It was a busy time for your family and ours - having babies , working, etc. Birthday parties for the children, were some of the special memories of our lives in Zimbabwe. Jenny and Jeff are much the same age as Kerry and Stephen. Jenny's 47 and Jeff 45 in December. It was sad when you went to live in the UK and various friends dispersed round the world. We were so delighted to meet up with you and Bill in England in 2013 at that memorable reunion lunch at Toby's Restaurant especially when you and Bill made a special trip in the rain. I had some photos but they have got lost in the system! . If I find will send some. Thanks for the memories. Rest in Peace, Bill. Lots of Love Alison and Tony. Xxx
Alison and Tony
December 7th, 2021
I am deeply saddened to hear of Bill's passing, I remember Bill as a kind caring person, right back to the early days of my childhood in Russell Ave, Harare. We often had tea with him and his family, and he let me play with his toys and read his comic books. He was always a considerate and positive person. - Helen James and Mrs Barbra Barker
Helen
December 2nd, 2021
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