Ellise Davis, age 98, a resident of Chanute, Kansas, passed away Sunday, May 8, 2022, at the Wesley Woodlawn Hospital in Wichita, Kansas.
She was born Elane Catherina Thompson, on October 27, 1923, in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Cornelius Thompson and Juanita Hughes. At the age of three, she went to live with Rev. Allen Jones and his wife, Mary. Rev. Jones was a deacon at St. Paul’s A.M.E. Church in St. Louis. She spent many hours helping him around the church and earned the nickname “Little Church Mouse.” During this time, she also played on the church piano, a talent she enjoyed throughout her life.
Her name was later changed to Ellise, but her friends called her Tootsie. She received her early education in St. Louis schools and went on to graduate from the Stowe Teacher’s College also in St. Louis. She met Paul Davis, who was an usher at the church, and they were joined in marriage on April 18, 1942, in Union, MO. Ellise gave birth to nine children.
Ellise moved the family to Ft. Scott, Kansas and later was baptized as a Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1969. She continued her education as a non-traditional student and graduated from Ft. Scott Junior College.
She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in social work from Pittsburg State University, graduating in 1972, at the age of 49. Ellise worked as a social worker for the Labette County SRS Office in Parsons, Kansas for twenty-three years, retiring in 1995 at the age of 72.
Ellise grew up through the Great Depression, and despite many hardships, managed to get an education and raise her large family as a single parent. She also learned to drive a stick-shift in her 40’s. She will be remembered as a member of the Greatest Generation.
Survivors include six children, Saundra Woolfolk of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Paulette Mosbey of Kansas City, Missouri, Joyce Johnson (Woody) of Wichita, Kansas, Ralph Davis (Tänya) of Chanute, Kansas, Kevin Davis of Manhattan, Kansas and Deborah Goins (Wayne), also of Manhattan, Kansas. Also surviving are eighteen grandchildren, Craig, Kirk, Mitchell, Michael, Mechelle, Gary Jr., Maurice, Juanette, Kimberly, Ray Jr., Chelsea, Monica, Tyrone, Kiesha, Shenee, Alyssa, Sea and Jasmine; forty-two great-grandchildren, twenty-three great-great-grandchildren and two great-great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, three children, Allen, Gary and Diane; four grandchildren, Dale, Keishia, Detrick, and Danicka; one great-granddaughter, Danielle; and a foster-sister, Fannie Mae.
Private burial will take place at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Scott, Kansas. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main St., Ft. Scott, Kansas. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.