Ellis Automotive founder Jim Ellis dies at 90

Longtime Georgia seller Jim Ellis, founder of his namesake vehicle group, died Friday at his Duluth, Ga., property, just weeks after his son Jimmy Ellis, the firm’s CEO, died, the Ellis loved ones mentioned.

Jim Ellis was 90. No bring about of loss of life was shared.

All Jim Ellis Automotive destinations will shut Wednesday for his funeral, in accordance to posts on the firm’s web page and Fb website page.

“Mr. Ellis leaves guiding a lasting legacy as a Christian, small business chief, pal and servant in the Atlanta community and in the automotive business,” the loved ones wrote in a statement. “Little did he know that his sacrifice 51 several years ago, putting all he had on the line to open a Volkswagen dealership in Chamblee, would fork out off in a way that would supply work opportunities for practically 1,700 Atlanta-space people and consequence in thousands and thousands of bucks contributed to people today in will need in metro Atlanta communities.”

Born Jan. 5, 1932, Jim Ellis worked a assortment of jobs in his youthful a long time, together with insurance policy, farm get the job done, a milk and paper route and as a prison foreman, in accordance to his obituary.

Just after researching business enterprise in university and serving two a long time in the U.S. Military, Ellis finally finished up in the automotive environment functioning for General Motors. He and his spouse of 69 several years, Billie Sammons Ellis, who he is survived by, cashed in their cost savings, her retirement fund and took out a bank loan to open up their first dealership, Jim Ellis Volkswagen, in 1971.

That dealership grew into numerous, and Jim Ellis Automotive now sells 17 brand names of vehicles throughout the higher Atlanta area. Jimmy Ellis took more than as CEO of the enterprise in 2015 until finally his death Nov. 5. He was 67.

Jim Ellis also is survived by two daughters who keep company officer roles in the business, which in a statement claimed is now being led by a 3rd technology of family customers adhering to the fatalities of the two leaders.

Philanthropy also was important to Jim Ellis. Far more than $50 million has been donated to Atlanta location corporations via the Jim and Billie Ellis Foundation.

Their son Greg Ellis, who experienced schizophrenia, died in 2000 at age 40. The very same month their son died, the Ellises developed the foundation that distributes annual gifts to charities, like those people benefiting mental well being.

“We appreciate undertaking it,” Ellis told Automotive News in 2013. “You will not do it for the recognition but for the gratification of viewing how some folks reply to what you give them to fill that have to have.”

Eleanore Beatty

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