Dr Daniel Sumner Ellis, noted Boston physician, died December 13, 2017 at Fox Hill Village in Westwood, MA. He was 104 years old. He was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He attended Duke University and graduated from Harvard Medical School, class of 1939. He married Eloise Goodman of Newport News, Virginia in June, 1939 and began his career as a house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital [MGH] in
Boston. His career at the MGH spanned 60 years except for a short period in 1941 and 1942 when he served as a resident at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.
In 1943 he joined the US Army Medical Corps as a member of the 6th General Hospital, the military contingent of the MGH. The Sixth General Hospital landed at Casablanca, North Africa in 1943. Dr. Ellis and physicians and surgeons who were members of this unit formed lifelong
friendships which reached into the top echelons of medical specialties throughout the United States. In 1944 Dr. Ellis volunteered for a frontline role with the Texas Division and landed at Anzio as a battlefield surgeon. He subsequently participated in the allied landing in southern France and was with the first medical unit to enter the concentration camp at Dachau. At this time hundreds were dying each day from a typhoid epidemic. Dr. Ellis left the Army as a major and was awarded the Bronze Star. He was commended for providing superb medical care to patients under difficult and dangerous military operations.
After World War ll, Dr. Ellis returned to the MGH in Boston and became engaged in the practice of internal medicine with a special interest in gastroenterology. His colleagues recognized him as an expert in liver and digestive diseases and a physician who was devoted
to his patients. He was a tireless advocate for quality patient care and an outstanding clinician and teacher, mentoring students and young doctors as an Associate Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School. For many of his colleagues he became the "doctor's doctor."
Dr. Ellis was recognized for devoting tremendous time and energy to improving medical care for society as a whole. He worked to achieve this goal by serving on numerous committees at the MGH and professional societies, including the governing board of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. In 1979 he was awarded a "Mastership"by the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Ellis was an avid tennis player, an excellent swimmer, a dedicated gardener and an accomplished craftsman, producing many pieces of fine furniture. He loved the outdoors, learning wilderness survival skills as a camper and camp counselor during summers on Sebago Lake in Maine. Later in life at his summer home at Isle au Haut, Maine, he continued to use his chain saw well into his nineties and was known for his ability to fell a huge tree and drop it within inches of its target.
He is survived by his son Daniel S. Ellis, Jr and daughter-in-law Mabel D. Ellis of Wellesley, Massachusetts, his daughter, Carolyn Bergen and son-in-law Bruce W. Bergen of Hope, ME and Sanibel, Florida, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at Fox Hill Village, Westwood, MA, on January 20, at 2pm. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Union Congregational Church, P. O. Box 44, Isle au Haut, Maine. 04645