Frances Sterling Ellis

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 18, 2018

NATCHEZ — Services for Dr. Frances Sterling Ellis, 95, of Stone Mountain, Ga., beloved wife, mother and grandmother, who died Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, will be 11 a.m. Monday at Laird Funeral Home Chapel.

Burial will follow at Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Email newsletter signup

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Mrs. Ellis was born Nov. 12, 1922, in Gloster, the daughter of the late Elias and Rhoda Berryhill Sterling. In 1942 she married Ralph J. Ellis, who served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII and later became a Methodist minister. She began her teaching career at Loganville High School in 1956.

Mrs. Ellis was the first person to receive a Ph.D. in English at Georgia State University in 1975 and went on to become an English professor at DeKalb College, which is now a part of Georgia State University. She recently published two novels, “James’ Crossing” and “Standing in the Door.”

Frances was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Ralph J. Ellis; and several older siblings.

Survivors include one son, Ralph D. Ellis and wife, Lynda; daughters Suzie Ellis-Hoyle and her husband Joseph, and Cheryl F. Ellis and Ronald Allen Charles; one son-in-law, George Morrison; six grandchildren, Fran Morrison, Arthur Morrison, Tracie Ravita and husband, Norm Fischer, Domenic Ravita and wife, Leigh Ann, Danielle Hoyle and Cameron Hoyle; four great-grandchildren, Liam, Henry, Oliver and Meg; and many more loving family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in her name,

Online condolences may be sent to the family at