Ellis, Ronald W. 86, died Nov. 22, 2022 in Raleigh, NC, where he had moved in 2021 after a long and successful career as an internist in the Twin Cities. Ron is survived by his wife, Betty, children Elaine Ellis and David Ellis (Karen) and grandchildren Rachael Stone, Michael Stone, Daniel Ellis, Andrew Ellis and Lily Ellis. Ron was born and raised in Detroit, MI, the son of Sol and Frances Ellis. He knew as a young teenager that he wanted to practice medicine and went on to receive his medical degree with honors from Wayne State University in 1960. Practicing medicine was his lifelong passion and over his long career in internal medicine he established warm and lasting relationships with many adoring patients and colleagues. As a medical student in Detroit, he met and married Betty (Gantz), a young architecture student at the University of Michigan. In the early years of their marriage, the couple moved several times first to Milwaukee, WI, where Ron completed his residency at the Wood VA Hospital and then to Bermuda to complete his two years of military service at Kinley Air Force base. With their two young children, Betty and Ron settled in St. Paul, MN in 1966, when Ron signed on as one of the first internists at Group Health, later to become HealthPartners. Over his long career at HealthPartners, he served as head of the internal medicine department, was instrumental in developing the organization's original quality assurance program and, in 1986, his peers recognized his clinical skills and contributions to Group Health by awarding him the prestigious Maurice Visscher Award. In addition to his practice, Ron found great satisfaction sharing his knowledge of both the art and science of medicine working with medical students and residents as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Regions Hospital. He found it difficult to give up his medical practice and teaching, and although he tried to fully retire several times, he returned to part-time practice, working, at one point, as a volunteer treating underserved and immigrant populations in St. Paul, before permanently retiring in 2014. A lifelong learner, he and Betty loved to audit courses at the University of Minnesota and Ron prided himself on acing the exams on subjects ranging from geology to astronomy to history. He and Betty traveled widely over the course of their 62-year marriage, exploring Italy, Norway and the western US, on cross country skis in Montana as well as hiking in the Colorado and Canadian Rockies. Ron always enjoyed listening to classical music and, in semi-retirement, he took up classical guitar and spent many hours perfecting his technique. He supported and relished seeing his children and grandchildren share in his intellectual interests and took great pride in their academic and professional accomplishments. As he declined due to dementia over the last several years, Ron's inherent kindness toward others became even more apparent as he always expressed his appreciation to his caregivers. Ron will be remembered as a skilled and compassionate physician, a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Donations in Ron's memory may be made to the Regions Hospital Foundation at healthpartners.com/foundations/….
Ronald W. Ellis
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