Moeller Funeral Home
104 Roosevelt Road
Valparaiso, IN  46383
(219) 462-0535
 Kosanke Funeral Home
105 East Indiana Avenue
Kouts, IN  46347
(219) 766-2224
Wanatah Funeral Chapel
309 North Main Street
Wanatah, IN  46390
(219) 733-2313
Angelcrest Cemetery
Highway 49 and 600 North
Valparaiso, IN  46383
(219) 531-8690

Bernice “Bee” Ellis, died at home in Valparaiso, Indiana, on December 17, 2018.  She was 91 years old and the wife of the late Leonard Ellis.  The couple were the founders and owners of Porter County Broadcasting (later Radio One Communications) in Valparaiso.  Bee was born in Chicago in 1927 to Anton and Nina (Manghera) Dubrick who had immigrated to Chicago from Croatia and settled on Chicago’s south side.   Anton worked for the Chicago Transit Authority as a streetcar brakeman for many years. They had four children: Robert, Bernice, Samuel and Gladys.  Bee graduated from Visitation High School in 1945.  Bee and Leonard Elezovich (later Ellis) were married at St. Basil’s Catholic Church in 1950 and moved to Indiana in 1955, living first in Hammond, then Chesterton and finally in Valparaiso. For twenty years they lived in Sylvan Manor, settled in Quail Ridge and wintered in Naples, Florida.   They had three children: Leigh (Nancy Jarosak) Neenah (Noah Adams) and Marissa (Roy Wilson) All three graduated from Valparaiso High School.  She was the business manager of Ellis business endeavors beginning in 1955 when  they presented live country music shows, with “Uncle Len” as the MC, at the Hammond Civic Center. The two travelled frequently to Nashville, Tennessee and took part in activities of the Country Music Association for almost 50 years.  Porter County Broadcasting was begun in 1965 with radio station WAYK –AM. The company eventually owned WLJE, WXRD, WZVN as well, stations known for local programming and community focus.  Radio One Communications sold in 2014 to Adams Radio Group. Bee held a first class FCC engineers license, which was rare for a woman and unusual for someone without a technical background.  They also brought cable television to Valparaiso in the early 1970s.  She was a member of the Chesterton Junior Woman’s Club, the League of Women Voters, the PTA, the Valparaiso Toastmistress Club and Delta Theta Tau sorority.  She helped organize the foreign exchange program at Valparaiso High School, and volunteered at Porter Memorial Hospital.  Bee and Len Ellis retired from daily management of the radio businesses in the 1980s and became dedicated RVers, travelling all over the US.  Bee Ellis is survived by one brother, Robert, her three children and four grandchildren:  sisters Ashleigh (David Hurley) and Bailey Ellis (engaged to Justin Hamilton) and siblings Isaac and Jovanina Wilson. She was “Auntie Bee” to ten nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 1 – 4 pm at Moeller Funeral Home, Valparaiso with memorial service beginning at 4:00 pm.  Donations can be made to the Valparaiso Rotary Club Memorial Foundation (youth exchange program) c/o Valparaiso Rotary Club, PO Box 522, Valparaiso, IN 46383.

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