Robert "Bob" Harry Ellis, 93, of Tempe passed away on March 4, 2021 after a long battle with kidney disease and bone cancer. Bob was born on March 2, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Glenville High School, he joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Bob utilized the GI Bill to attend Arizona State University where he received a BA in Education. He was hired as a news writer, announcer and continuity director at KOY radio, where he met the love of his life, Frankie Jo Lanter. Bob began working at ASU in 1959 as the Director of Radio Operations and was then tapped to be the first General Manager of ASU's KAET (Channel 8) television, from 1961-1986, where many people knew him from the frequent pledge drives. In the 1960s, he spent summers in Cleveland attending Case Western Reserve University where he received an MA in Speech and Communication. Bob was also an Associate Professor, teaching a broadcast management class for over 25 years. He retired as the Associate Vice President for University Relations at ASU where he coordinated ASU's first trip to the Rose Bowl in 1987. Bob was a founding member of the ASU Retirees Association, the Tempe Sports Authority and the Tempe Visitors and Convention Bureau. He served on the Phoenix Zoo Board, the Arizona Humanities Council and the national board of the Public Broadcasting Service. He was elected to the ASU College of Public Programs Hall of Fame and the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Bob and Frankie Jo were married over 65 years and had three children. They loved to travel the world with close friends, attend ASU sporting events, and serve their community. Bob loved to play bridge and tennis, and would gladly challenge (and beat) any young man in racquetball who asked his daughters for a date. He had a wonderful singing voice and didn't hesitate to belt out show tunes around the house, the grocery store, or while out on walks. He will be remembered for his love of peanut butter sandwiches, always being the first one to put up Christmas lights, and his classic '65 Mustang. Bob was an honest, ethical, and noble man, who sat at Frankie Jo's bedside for over two years, after a terrible car accident in 2017. He is proceeded in death by his wife Frankie Jo and his son Robert Ellis, Jr. He is survived by daughters Kimberly Murphy (Mike) and Shana Ellis (Todd Pearson); grandchildren Ellis Murphy (Hannah), Wendy Griffith (Mike), Avery Murphy (Celine), Kade Stout, and Amaya Antonio; and great-grandchildren Lennon Feezell, Ava Griffith, Henry Griffith, Evie Murphy, and Zeke Murphy. Donations can be made to: Robert & Frankie Jo Ellis/KAET Scholarship Fund c/o ASU Foundation, Attn: Gift Receipting, P.O. Box 2260, Tempe, AZ 85280-2260 (memo line: 40002941). Services will be private. Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the Ellis family.
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