Arlene Doris Ellis, 97


Arlene Doris (Garlick) Ellis, died on Feb. 8, 2021, at Crestview Nursing Home in West Branch, Iowa.

Arlene was born on April 10, 1923, on a farm in Winnebago County, Minnesota, to Gertrude Hannah (Griffith) and Roscoe E. Garlick.

The family later moved to a farm in rural Martin County near Fairmont, Minnesota. She started education in a one-room school house and graduated from Fairmont High School in 1941.

She moved to Iowa City in 1942 and went to work at Kaderas Café where she met her future husband William George Ellis. She worked at Hamburg Inn Number 2 for 23 years before opening the Greek American restaurant Town Crest Inn in 1975 with her husband George and their daughter Nancy and her husband Bill Marakos.

After retiring in 1982, she and George traveled in their fifth wheel to California, Nashville and Florida. She loved history – especially English history – and had an opportunity to travel to England.

She was a voracious reader, reading every genre of a book. She loved country, classical and gospel music as well as crossword puzzles. The most important thing in her life was her family with frequent gatherings and plenty of food.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George, after 59 years of marriage along with three brothers, Harold Griffith, George Garlick and Oliver Garlick.

She is survived by a sister, Dorothy Saxton; sons, Richard (Connie) Ellis, Gary (Pat) Ellis, David Ellis and Carlos Bordignon and Mark Ellis; and daughters, Judy (Ed) Shimkat, Nancy (Bill) Marakos and Sandra (Daryle) Langenberg. Also surviving are 16 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren with two more on the way and many nieces, nephews and their families. She will be missed by all of us but leaves so many wonderful memories.

Private family services were held Monday, Feb. 15, at Gay and Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City, but can also be viewed by family and friends through the livestreaming feature on the funeral home website @ at Arlene’s page under obituary.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Arlene’s Memory to Crestview Nursing & Rehab Center. To share a thought, memory or condolence with her family please visit the funeral home website.