Kenneth Ellis
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Kenneth Ellis
  • December 30, 1937 - February 6, 2017
  • Hot Springs, Arkansas

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“Mark out the area you can live in contentedly; then live within it, remaining quietly composed and attentive, no longer tormenting or rejecting the world (which may as easily bring us good as bad). Feel your life flow of itself, as the sea moves and the flower blooms, letting the world hold you in its arms, never struggling too hard to be good or bad, not fearing sadness too much, or wanting happiness too much, walking softly, and hurting nothing if you can help it. Remembering how many things have given up their lives that you may live, live so their sacrifice is not wasted. And knowing that you own nothing here, that you made nothing, that everything is merely lent to you, that all power is from beyond this dream. That no object here is real or belongs to you or anyone else - be kind. For whatever you do that is kind gives this dream a meaning --even if it proves to have no other."





  • From The Dream, by H. A. Hartwick





Kenneth Daniel (KD) “the Rock” Ellis lived his life in exactly this manner and died on February 6, 2017 at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Maelu (Hays) Ellis; two brothers, John Ellis of Hot Springs and Clifford Ellis of Woodstock, GA; two sons, Chris (Jan) Ellis of Gentry and Gene (Dona) Scott of Little Rock; two daughters, Mindy (Daniel) Gallegos of Hot Springs and Dena (Erik) Holbrooks of Little Rock; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by one son, Nathan Ellis, and both parents, Clifford and Lois Ellis.



Ken was born December 30, 1937 in the tiny town of Smackover, Arkansas. He grew up in Hot Springs and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1961 with a degree in Business Administration. Working in Industrial Sales for a period of time, he later obtained his teaching certification and taught math in the Hot Springs School District until he retired.



He and his wife Maelu opened their hearts and home to numerous exchange students and foster children while serving as foster parents for over 30 years.



Ken was an avid reader and enjoyed spending infinite hours researching various interests on his computer. He loved traveling and the natural world (especially the Blue Ridge Mountains). Never realizing his dream of opening his own bookstore, he leaves behind his enormous collection of books and movies and jars of gourmet foodstuff.



Ken will be deeply missed by family and friends for his sage wisdom, guidance, teasing and good humor. From the words of Chuang-Tzu, one of Ken’s favorite books, on the idea of leaving this world:



When Chuang-Tzu was about to die, his disciples began planning a splendid funeral.



But he said:

"I shall have heaven and earth for my coffin;

The sun and moon will be the jade symbols

Hanging by my side;

Planets and constellations

Will shine as jewels all around me,

And all beings will be present



As mourners at the wake.

What more is needed?

Everything is amply taken care of!"



A memorial service is scheduled for Friday February 10, 2017 at First Lutheran Church Hot Springs at 10:37 am.