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1962 Keith 2023

Keith Ellis

November 18, 1962 — July 4, 2023

Keith Ellis passed away peacefully on July 4th, 2023, at the age of 60. Keith was born on November 18, 1962 in Milwaukee, WI to Thelma Ellis and Houston Wilder. He grew up in a large loving family with 9 siblings, many aunts, uncles and cousins. 

If Keith Ellis were to have a theme song it would be, “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”. He lived many places and left his mark wherever he went. He settled in Appleton, WI in his late twenties and lived there most of his life. Keith was a chef by trade and worked in many establishments across the United States. From Wisconsin and Minnesota, he made his way through kitchens in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, Atlanta and more. Eventually he returned to Appleton. At each location he learned the local flavors, recipes, and techniques, incorporating them into his own unique style of cooking. During his career he cooked many places in the Fox Valley, he ran his own catering business, and eventually became a partner in his own establishment, The Study Hall, located on Calumet St. in Appleton. Here he won a Golden Fork Award for his creative presentation, flavor, and style.  A few years later the business was sold and Keith joined forces with Mike Verbrick, along with Bill and Brittney Verbrick to manage their kitchen at The Creeks at Ivy Acres golf course. In the off season he would help at Scubas Pourhouse in Appleton. Keith worked with Mike up until he was no longer able to work. More importantly Keith and Mike were best of friends. Keith loved Mariah Carey, discussing politics, Moscato with Sprite, and shots of Jack Daniels. No obituary is complete without mentioning that Keith was a huge Packer’s fan. He also loved his Milwaukee Bucks. Keith always looked forward to spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and watching the game. 

Keith had a wonderful, charming, charismatic personality. That charm was known as the “Ellis Magic.” That Magic was powerful and resulted in nine children and six grandchildren. Two of his children have preceded him in death: Keith Ellis Jr. and Michael Ellis-Gilbert. He is survived by his children: Terrence Ellis (Tia) of North Branch, MN, Ellis Baehman (Olivia) of Appleton, WI, Bethany Ellis of Minneapolis, MN, Kilee Kvendru of MN, Tristan Kamara of Houston TX, Jordan Gilbert of Phoenix, AZ, Kira Geurtz of Milwaukee, WI, Linda Matthews of Waukesha, WI, and special nephew Brandon Wilder of Appleton. Pappi Keith was blessed with six grandchildren: Ezra, Lulu, K’yana, Pharaoh, Izaiah and Luna. He was proud of his children and grandchildren and loved them all.

Keith is also preceded in death by his father Houston Wilder, an older brother Michael Ellis, and nephew Terrence Ellis. He is survived by his mother, Thelma Ellis of Milwaukee, WI, two sisters, and seven brothers: Veronica Williams of Milwaukee, WI, Carol Ellis of Milwaukee, WI, Robert Ellis of Minneapolis, MN, Dwight Ellis of Clyde, TX, Anthony Ellis of Milwaukee, WI, Curtis Wilder of Milwaukee, WI, Bernard Ellis (Shanti) of Mableton, GA, and Rodney Ellis of Milwaukee, WI. There are many special aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and friends all too many to name. Keith loved you all.

There will be a Memorial/Celebration of Life held on August 19th, 2023 at The Creeks at Ivy Acres Club House. Location: N3594 Market Rd. #9131, Hortonville, WI 54944. The Celebration will be held from Noon – 3:00 p.m. Please join us to share your favorite Keith stories. (There are a lot of them.) 

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the:

Keith Ellis Memorial Fund

C/O Ellis Baehman

3502 N. Juanita Ln

Appleton, WI 54911

Or Venmo a donation to:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Keith Ellis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial/Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 19, 2023

12:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

The Creeks at Ivy Acres Club House

N3594 Market Rd. #9131, Hortonville, WI 54944

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