David Jackson Ellis, DVM

December 27, 1943 - May 04, 2022


Obituary For David Jackson Ellis, DVM

WATCH the Recorded Service HERE: Memorial Service for David Ellis

Dr. David Jackson Ellis died peacefully on May 4, 2022. He was born on December 27, 1943 in Washington, D.C. to the late Cleffie and Ella Ellis.

Dave was large in stature and lived a life to match his size. Gifted with athletic ability and a sharp intellect, he attended North Carolina State University on scholarship to play football and to pursue his goal of becoming a veterinarian. The Wolfpack won three ACC Championships during his years there, and he was chosen to play in the Coaches All-American game. More importantly, he accomplished his goal of being accepted at the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine. Much to his surprise, he was also drafted to play football by both Houston and the Baltimore Colts. He gave pro football a try with the Colts but decided to pursue his true love and attend vet school. He never looked back!

He met his wife, Kathy, on a blind date canoeing on the Potomac River. They were happily married for almost 54 years and together were so proud of the loving family they created.

Dave and Kathy moved to Raleigh in 1974 and opened Falls Village Veterinary Hospital. A few years later, he was fortunate to add Dr. Amy Lewis as his partner. In addition to his busy practice, he was an active volunteer as a member of the of the Civitan Club, Ducks Unlimited, Wake County Wildlife Club and the Wolfpack Club.

In 1983, Dave began ten years of service as Chairman of the Wake County Board of Health. In honor of this commitment, he was named the Tarheel of the Month. NCSU was always important to him, and he served on both the Alumni Association Board and the NC State Athletics Council.

In retirement, he joined the Wakefield Plantation Club where he met a group of like-minded friends who enjoyed golf, fellowship, and volunteering at the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen and the Special Olympics. The group also sponsored a yearly golf tournament to support our soldiers in the National Guard.

Dave fought a courageous battle with heart disease, and his family is thankful for the care provided by Dr. David Millward, Dr. Joseph Rogers, Dr. Sameh Mobarek and Transitions LifeCare of Raleigh.

Dave is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; his daughter, Dr. Katie Barrett (Tom) of Raleigh; his daughter, Betsy Simerville (Bill) of Charlotte; and five grandchildren, Hanna and Louisa Barrett and Will, Jackson, and Walker Simerville. He is also survived by his sister, Karyl Walls of Durham and several special nieces and nephews. He was also very close to his many cousins and countless friends.

A celebration of Dave’s life will be held on Friday, May 13, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. (The celebration will be streamed live via the Renaissance Funeral Home YouTube channel and the Renaissance Funeral Home Facebook page.)

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dave to:

Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, 121 Hillsborough Street, No. 1762, Raleigh, NC 27603

“We Care” Golf Classic to Benefit NC Military Families, c/o Mike Rowe, 2611 Prosser Ct., Raleigh, NC 27614

Transitions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607


13 May

Memorial Service

02:00 PM

Renaissance Funeral Home 7615 Six Forks Road Raleigh, NC 27615 Get Directions »
by FHW Solutions

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Dr. Ellis Memorial Service

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  • 05/13/2022

    I got to know Doc at the Raleigh Sports Club. Being a NCSU alum, we shared many wolfpack stories together. I enjoyed so much swapping tales with him and his wonderful sense of humor. I fully understand his feelings about feeling near to God being out in nature. Many times I have said I have never felt closer to God than being fishing on the lake, watching the eagles fly, and enjoying the sunset. Save me a place by the lake up there and rest in peace my friend.

  • 05/13/2022

  • 05/13/2022

    My sincere condolences to his wife and family. He always made us feel welcomed and at home as his FVVH family. Rest in peace, Dr. Ellis, you will be greatly missed.

  • 05/12/2022

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss Kathy, Katie and Betsy. Dave touched so many people as well as our beloved 4 legged animals for sure. We were blessed for sure by his presence and devotion to so many as well as his family. We will never forget his love of our Labs, his laugh, sense of humor and outstanding qualities. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Neil and Anne Evans

  • 05/12/2022

    I first met Dave on the old football practice field behind Reynolds in 1961. I was 6' 1" and 215. I looked up at this 6' 6" guy dressed out in full gear and said "what have I stepped into" Later in life, I discovered he was a big man with a big heart and gentle hands to care for our family pets. Condolences to his family who I never met. Rest in peace, big guy.

  • 05/11/2022

    I am so grateful to have known Dr Ellis, during my formative years in high school and college. What a truly wonderful man he was to all who encountered him. My deepest condolences and love to my dear friend Betsy, Mrs. Ellis, Katie, and you entire family. Jenny (Boone) Bethel

  • 05/10/2022

    Kathy, Katie and Betsy So sorry to hear of your loss. Dave was truly a wonderful person. I have always admired him, for his positive personality and simply his love of life. My best memories were our Indian Princess days, our tribe meetings and of course Camp Seagull/Seafarer. They were special days and the dad's had more fun than the girls. Dad Dave was always the leader of the Pack. Take care of each other, Miller and Liz Warren, Miller III and Susan

  • 05/10/2022

    Funny, beloved, amazing friend, super vet, wonderful husband, great grandfather, superb swan swinger, gifted story teller, and memorable Hyde County Hunter. Dave was superlative in all parts of his life from his size to his giving, sharing and caring. There is a hole in all our lives without you. May God hold you in the palm of his hand. Robyn Eiler

  • 05/09/2022

    Dr. David was my first Raleigh Vet when I moved to Raleigh and remained so for many years. His compassion and care for my dog and later my two Persian cats was only eclipsed by his warm smile and genuine love of his profession. Since his retirement, our paths have crossed a few times in Raleigh and that warm, big smile was his first greeting. I send my prayers and love to his family.

  • 05/09/2022

  • 05/09/2022

  • 05/07/2022

    I met Doc while working my semi-retirement job at Wakefield Plantation. I always, and I mean always. Looked forward to Doc pulling in and asking me to get his clubs so he could work on his game. We talked a lot about his football days, especially with the Baltimore Colts. Doc always put a smile on my face. When I joined the club after officially retiring, I was truly looking forward to playing the course with Doc. Unfortunately that never happened. I fine man Doc was, and I will always have fond memories of him. God bless you Doc! See you in heaven one day, and I will have a lot of golf stories for you. Mark Saharski

  • 05/07/2022

    My prayers are with you.

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