Ellis Canal Jr., 78, of Tolland, husband of Jean (Bauer) Canal died peacefully at home on Saturday, July 20, 2019. He was born in Newark, NJ on September 30th, 1940 son of the late Ellis Sr. and Maria (Cecere) Canal. He was married to his beloved wife Jean whom he cherished beyond words could ever express for over 56 years. He was a Tolland resident and a devoted and gracious member of the community.
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He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and retired from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft after 37 years of service in their Test Engineering Department. On behalf of P&WA, he served as a representative for United Way, a member of United Technologies Engineering Coordination Activities (UTECA) and as Treasurer of the PW Engineering Retiree’s Club. Ellis was a math and science enthusiast who loved all things involving air and space.
He was a faithful member of St. Matthew’s Church of Tolland as a Parish Trustee, Member of the Finance Committee, a Past President of the Couples Club and a Eucharistic Minister. Ellis also was greatly committed to the Knights of Columbus Organization. He was a Founding Member of St. Matthew’s Council 6626 and a former Grand Knight. He served in several positions with responsibilities for the entire state of Connecticut. He was a former Faithful Navigator, Assembly 2190, a past District Deputy, a CT State Council Convention Chairman and the Editor of the CT State Council Newsletter, “The Founder”. He passionately served the role of Director of Fund Drive raising money to help people with intellectual disabilities for the state and achieved outstanding success for over 25 years in this capacity. This role better known as the “Tootsie Roll Drive” was just another example of his giving heart and the work he did for the benefit of others.
Ellis loved bowling, traveling with the Couples Club, jazz music and touring Cape Cod every fall. He was an avid fan of UCONN Basketball and truly enjoyed the time he spent volunteering and working alongside his Brother Knights. He also gave his time as Membership Chairman of Boy Scout Troop 15. Some of Ellis’s proudest moments come from raising his three children and some of his best smiles and laughs come from the joy of his grandchildren. He had a faithful audience with his grandsons as he played airplanes with them and inspired their love of space.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his son, Ellis Joseph of Rochester, NY, granddaughters Karen and Brynn MacWilliams of New Hampshire; daughter Janeen (Canal) Caleo and husband, Michael, grandsons Gavin and Dylan of Manhattan Beach, California; Tammy (Canal) Bisson and husband, Kevin of Ellington CT.
Friends may gather on Thursday, July 25 at Tolland Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Merrow Rd., Rte. 195, Tolland from 3-8 p.m. for a celebration of his life and on Friday, July 26 at St. Matthew’s Church, 111 Tolland Green, Tolland, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am. Burial will be in South Cemetery, 299 Cider Mill Road, Tolland. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to “St. Matthew’s Church” or “CT State Council Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Program” mailed to Gary McKeone, 99 Appletree Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118.