Mass of Christian Burial for James R. “Jim” Ellena, 61, Cathedral City, CA will be at 10 a.m. Monday, February 23, 2009 at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence. Burial will follow in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Lawrence. He died on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at his home in California.
He was born on September 20, 1947 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the son of John A. “Jack” & Norma Silverthorn Ellena. He moved to Lawrence with his family in 1968.
Mr. Ellena formerly attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO and The University of Kansas. He also served in the US Army Reserves during the Vietnam era.
He worked for his Dad in the Jack Ellena Buick & Oldsmobile dealership in Lawrence from 1968-1979. He then opened his own dealership, Jim Ellena Honda in St. Charles, MO. He returned to Lawrence to work with his family in the local dealership and eventually purchased it from his Dad in 1985. He operated that dealership until 1999, along with several other franchises. He has been semi-retired since then.
While in Lawrence, he was a member of the Noon Rotary Club and the Lawrence Country Club. Throughout his career, he was a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA).
Survivors include two daughters; Jill Ellena, Overland Park, KS, Betsey Mooney, Mission, KS, a son, Joel Ellena, Windsor, CO, his mother, Norma Ellena, Lawrence, KS, two sisters, Gail Ellena Vick and Denise Ellena Berland, both of Lawrence, KS, a brother, John Ellena, Lawrence, KS and a grandson, Jack Anthony Ellena.
The family suggests memorials in his name to Catholic Social Services and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Online condolences may be sent to www.warrenmcelwain.com Subject: Ellena