Eric Hans <I>Eichtersheimer</I> Ellis

Eric Hans Eichtersheimer Ellis

Death 12 Jul 2008 (aged 72)
Burial Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA
Plot Row C-2B
Memorial ID 29112089 · View Source
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ERIC H. ELLIS, 72, of Sewanee, Tenn., and Fayetteville died July 12, 2008. Graveside services were held July 14 at B'nai Zion Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tenn.

He was born Aug. 25, 1935, in Mannheim, Germany. In 1938, he escaped from Nazi Germany with his parents and older brother and settled in Syracuse, N.Y. He received an undergraduate degree magna cum laude in physics in 1956 from Syracuse University, where he was a member of Arnold Air Society and a coxswain for the crew team. He received his master's degree in 1958 and doctorate in physics in 1964 from Syracuse University.

In 1958 he married Barbara Dresner, who preceded him in death in March 2008. Professor Ellis moved to Sewanee with his family in 1964 to join the physics department as professor at the University of the South, where he was one of the design planners of the original Woods Laboratory. His vision and foresight allowed the science building and its lab space to remain fully operational for 15 years longer than the standard lifespan of a science building.

His theoretical research delved into the formulaic equations regarding the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. As former director of the National Science Foundation's summer institute in the early 70s, Dr. Ellis coordinated the summer fireworks from 1970 to 1976.

Upon receiving a heart transplant in 1993, Dr. Ellis began a friendship with Dr. William Frist of Vanderbilt University, who later became a U.S. Senator from Tennessee. His former student Dr. Walter Merrill performed the transplant. Dr. Ellis nicknamed himself the "Tin Man," as a reference to the character from the Wizard of Oz who only wanted a heart.

In 1969, he co-founded Cumberland Mountain Learning Disability Center, which was later incorporated into the special education program of Franklin County Schools. Dr. Ellis was a lifelong member of B'nai Zion of Chattanooga. He was a founding and active member, and a former president, of Temple Beth El in Tullahoma, Tenn., until it closed in the 1980s.

Survivors include his children, Richard Ellis of Winchester, Susan Waskow of Hopewell, N.J., Ralph Ellis of Fayetteville, and Beatrice Fine of Kansas City, Mo.; and five grandchildren.

Family Members



Beloved husband, father, grandfather and professor

Eric Hans Eichtersheimer Ellis
Aug. 25, 1935
Jul. 12, 2008

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  • Created by: Laurie
  • Added: 17 Aug 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial 29112089
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eric Hans Eichtersheimer Ellis (25 Aug 1935–12 Jul 2008), Find a Grave Memorial no. 29112089, citing BNai Zion Cemetery, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Laurie (contributor 2811407) .