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Maxwell E. Ellis, 89, advertising executive

May 22, 1928 – March 7, 2018

Maxwell E. “Mac” Ellis, an advertising agency executive, died March 7 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 89.

Born in Buffalo, he was the son of Jerome Ellis and nephew of Michael Ellis, who founded Ellis Advertising Co. in 1924. He attended School 81 and graduated from Bennett High School in 1946. He earned a business degree from Syracuse University in 1950.

Drafted into the Army in 1954, he worked as a clerk at Camp Pendleton in California. After he demonstrated an ability to translate coded messages, he was reassigned as a cryptographer.

Returning from service, Mr. Ellis joined the family business, then helped start a new agency, Ellis, Singer & Hall, in 1969. He retired in 1988.

While running the agency, he also taught advertising management and techniques for 13 years at Canisius College. He was honored with the Business Teacher of the Year Award in 1975.

Active in numerous organizations, he was a trustee at Western New York Public Broadcasting Association and was chairman of the annual Channel 17 auction in 1984. He also served on the boards of Buffalo City Mission, Medaille College, Compass House of Buffalo, the Blind Association of Western New York, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Ken-Ton Friends of Youth Foundation.

He also served as executive director of the Council for International Visitors of Western New York and was a volunteer for SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), helping start-up businesses.

A Town of Tonawanda resident, he was a Mason for 65 years and was active as an alumni member of his college fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, serving on its national governing board.

Known for his quick wit, he was a classical music enthusiast with a passion for Beethoven symphonies.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, the former Virginia Amram; a daughter, Pamela Meltzer; two sons, Richard and James; and three grandchildren.

Services were held March 12 in the Sisterhood Chapel at Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave.

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