Contributing Editor Barry Gibbs kindly granted Inside Magic permission to publish his memorial for Mike Ellis, who passed away on October 2, 2008. Mr. Ellis was certainly an influence on our love for Magic and perhaps yours. He will truly be missed.
I was saddened today to discover that Mike had passed away, yet happy to remember that I was his “magic teacher” that started him on his way to another adventure in his life.
Yes, it was my “Adult Education” class that Mike first attended in Boynton Beach, Florida. I sponsored Mike into IBM Ring #117, of which I am a past President. Today IBM Ring 117 is the Mike Ellis Ring.
Mike was a wonderful, very modest man. I knew him for almost a year, before I became aware of his theatrical background, not that he told me, but I discovered it when he booked me to perform at a private party in his home.
I will never forget walking into his home and seeing all the autographed photographs to Mike, from any star you could think of. It was only after that occasion Mike explained his background to me. How modest could you be?
I could write a book about Mike, but I know that those of you who ever had an opportunity to meet him, know the wonderful man he was and his absolute love of magic
If I know Mike, he has restored that broken wand by now and probably starting a “magic class” for the Angels.
May GOD rest your soul Mike until we meet again.
You can read more at the IBM’s web site here. The Philadelphia Daily News had a very nice obituary highlighting Mr. Ellis’ theatrical history here.