Ellis Edward Rowland, beloved husband of Suzanne Mallory Wallbank Rowland, passed away suddenly on July 1, 2018 in Syracuse, NY. In addition to his wife of 60 years, he is survived by two sons, Michael Paul Rowland and wife, Rachel of Wilmette, IL, and Ellis John Rowland of Stroudsburg, PA; and five grandsons, James, Trevor and Stuart of Wilmette, Ellis and Quinten of Stroudsburg. He was predeceased by his daughter, Cheryl Lynne Rowland in 2007, and his parents, Ellis John and Helen Bozek Rowland.
Ellis was born July 10, 1935 in New Brunswick, NJ, and spent most of his life in New Jersey. He and his wife met and were high school sweethearts at North Plainfield High School and married in 1958.
A graduate of Colgate University, Class of 1957, Ellis began his career with Monroe Business Machines in New York in sales. He went on to complete six months active duty in the Army Reserve and then went to work for Johnson & Johnson as a senior sales trainer. He later became a brand manager. Ellis continued his career working for a business-to-business publishing company in NYC selling advertising space which led to his becoming publisher, director and vice president of circulation. In 1988, he accepted an offer to join the International Council of Shopping Centers as vice president/group publisher and then became senior vice president of publishing and marketing. He retired in 1999.
For more than 40 years, Ellis was involved in fundraising for Colgate. He started by making phone calls to alums and went on to chair several class and reunion gift committees and co-chair the 50th Reunion Committee. Additionally, Ellis was a charter member of Colgate’s first Delaware alumni club in Wilmington. He was currently co-chair of the class gift committee, vice president of the Colgate Alumni Club of the Chenango Valley and a member of Theta Chi Foundation Board of Trustees. He was previously on the Colgate Maroon Council Board of Governors. In 1992, Ellis was awarded the Maroon Citation for his service to the university.
An active member of Calvary Lutheran Church in New Jersey for 34 years, Ellis served four terms as president of the congregation, was instrumental in founding their nursery school and child care center, chaired many committees and ministries over the years and served as senior teen advisor. He was currently a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in New Hartford.
Always interested in community and youth activities, Ellis coached softball, baseball and football and served as president of the Little League and on the Recreation Commission in New Jersey. He previously was president of the Wilmington, DE Jaycees and held state and national offices with the Jaycees. He was also a charter member and vice president of the Bowie, MD YMCA.
When Ellis and his wife retired to Hamilton in 2003, they became avid football and women’s volleyball supporters. They rounded up several of their retiree friends and founded the Colgate Volleyball Senior Rowdy Raiders to cheer and support the team. Additionally, Ellis was a mentor for several football players as part of the Maroon Council mentoring program.
Ellis was a past member of Echo Lake Country Club where he served on the Board of Trustees and was a current member of Seven Oaks Golf Club and Fox Hollow Golf Club in Florida. He was a member of the 50 Club and the Colgate Old Timers and had served on the Hamilton Club Board of Directors and volunteered at the Hamilton Food Cupboard.
Services will be held at the Zion Lutheran Church, 630 French Road, New Hartford, NY at 10 am Monday, July 9, 2018. Burial will be private.
Following the service, all are welcome to join Ellis’ family and celebrate his life at the Seven Oaks Golf Course clubhouse, 73 Payne St., Hamilton from 12:00 to 2:00pm
Friends are invited to call at the Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 25 Broad St., Hamilton, NY on Sunday, July 8, from 2-4pm.
It was Ellis’ wish that any donations in his memory may be given to Zion Lutheran Church, or Colgate’s Women’s Volleyball Team, Ellis Rowland Memorial, c/o Head Coach Ryan Baker, 13 Oak Dr., Hamilton, NY 13346.