He was born in Nunda, N.Y., to the late Leslie DeGroff and Jennie DeMocker DeGroff. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by: a daughter, Sandra DeGroff Morris; two grandchildren, Kyle Morris and Reagan Morris; and three brothers, Leslie DeGroff Jr., Herbert DeGroff and Edward DeGroff.
Ellis was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he was a P-47 (Thunderbolt) pilot during World War II who flew 79 combat missions in the European Theater; six missions were on D-Day at Normandy. He was a graduate of Cornell University; retired from NCR and then operated DeGroff Business Machines until 2000.
He is survived by: his wife of 70 years, Freda Harris DeGroff; three children, Susan DeGroff of West Palm Beach, Fla., Richard (Pamela) DeGroff of Rabun Gap and Robin (Gary) Sallenbach of Lake Worth, Fla.; grandchildren, Ty Cone (Michael Hartwyk) of New York, Brian Cone of West Palm Beach, Collette (Dan) Campbell and Jason (Erin) DeGroff, both of Tallahassee, Fla., Shaun DeGroff and Justin (Nicole) Sallenbach, both of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., and Aubrey Sallenbach of Lake Worth; great-grandchildren, Ashley Campbell, D.J. Campbell and Jessica Campbell, all of Tallahassee; a sister, Sarah Swyers of Perry, N.Y.; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held Saturday at Rabun Gap Presbyterian Church with the Rev. G. Donald (Don) Barber officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to ARC of Palm Beach County, Fla., (Advocates for the Rights of the Challenged), 1665 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401; http://www.arcpbc.org/; or United Hospice of Gainesville, 700 S. Enota Drive, N.E., No. 202, Gainesville, GA 30501.
Macon Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at maconfuneralhome.com.