Cover photo for Joseph Ode Ellis, Iii's Obituary
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Joseph Ode Ellis, Iii

June 7, 1937 — April 23, 2023

Joseph Ode Ellis, Iii

Jerry passed from this life on April 23, 2023, after courageously battling numerous health issues for many years. He was the oldest of five children born to J.O. And Vivian Ellis on June 7, 1937. Jerry was an Oklahoma City native and attended Classen High School, graduating in 1955. Upon graduation, Jerry enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Hood. He attended the University of Oklahoma. He began his restaurant career under the tutelage of Jerry Adair. He parlayed this initial restaurant experience into ownership of Cross Timbers, Across the Street and Mr. Bill's Restaurants in Norman. In 1977, Jerry began his life in the oil and gas industry as owner of Oklahoma Oil and Gas Management, which owned and operated wells primarily in Eastern Oklahoma. He sold his company in 2021.Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Kaye Johns Cook and had three children: Kerri, Jay and Will, each of whom he was very proud. Later marrying Judy Merritt, he was a stepfather to her two children, Lauren and Cliff. Jerry leaves behind his wife of 18 years, Gina and her son Giorgio. Jerry was an accomplished amateur golfer. Qualifying for the US Senior Open Golf Championship at The Congressional course in Bethesda was what he considered his greatest golfing achievement. He played millions of rounds at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, Oak Tree and The Trails, as well as at courses all across the country in invitational tournaments. He was a board member of the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association. The friendships he made through golf over the years were ones he held near and dear to his heart. Jerry was a man of many hobbies and interests. He was a pilot, master bridge player, an avid hunter and loved OU football. His perfect day was cruising Grand Lake on his boat with a scotch, or a hunting trip with his buddies. Most recently he could be found at the 19th Hole playing gin with his cronies. He is survived by his wife Gina, children Kerri Davis of Dallas, Jay Ellis of Dallas, Will Ellis of OKC and Giorgio Johnson and his wife Brenda of Jones. Jerry was known as Pa to his grandchildren Jennifer, Katheryne, Kayla and Meagan and the little grandchildren Lincoln, Charlie and Grace. He is also survived by his four siblings: Mike Ellis, his brother and best friend, and wife Beverly, DiAnn Berry, Nancy Roper and husband Farrel, Judy Holmboe and husband Jim and numerous nieces and nephews. His loyal four-legged friend Sister never left his side and was his constant companion. We will all miss him greatly but will forever be inspired by his courage and determination in the face of life's challenges. His wit, unwavering love and friendship, and his ability to "tell it like it is" will always be gifts treasured by those that knew him.The family would like to thank Jerry's medical team of doctors who fought hard for him until he decided the fight was over, as well as the nursing angels from Providence and Tender Care Hospice.Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Luke's United Methodist Church located at 222 NW 15th Street. A reception will be held at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center Moonshots Program at gifts.mdanderson.org.
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Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

St. Luke's United Methodist Church

OK

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