Dr. Ellington was dedicated to his family, actively involved in the University of Nebraska Animal Science Department, where he retired in 2002. He had many hobbies that included enjoying family activities, farming and gardening, collecting antiques, cheering on the Nebraska Huskers, and traveling both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Ellington has devoted his professional career to education, first by receiving his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. from the University of California. After receiving his Ph.D. with an emphasis in Animal Physiology, Dr. Ellington began his career in education by teaching at Oregon State University (1962-1968), and then for over 30 years at the University of Nebraska Department of Animal Science (1968-2002).
Dr. Ellington served as academic adviser for undergraduates, major professor for M.S. and Ph.D. students, directed postdoctoral programs, served as advisor for student organizations and actively worked with past students for local and national alumni activities. He was highly respected and served as president of the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association and president of the Nebraska chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta and both president and international president of Phi Beta Delta.
Dr. Ellington became the recipient of many teaching awards, including the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) Alumni Association’s Service, Honorary Life Membership, Legacy and Doc Elliot awards. Dr. Ellington served in teaching administration in both assistant dean and associate dean positions and in short-term international assignments in Africa, China and Costa Rica. At retirement, Dr. Ellington was honored to be recognized as CASNR associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus of Animal Science.
Earl will be remembered by his family as a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle with deep devotion to family. Earl was born and raised on a farm with his five siblings, in Eastern Kentucky, where he learned the importance of family and education from his parents, Lindsay and Hazel Ellington.
Earl was fortunate to meet his wife of 63 years, Norma Ellington, when they were both in high-school. He frequently reminisced about their dating years, and their serious discussions concerning goals and their future. Together they worked to not only reach those early goals, but to continue to revise, expand and exceed their goals throughout their marriage. Earl was known to his family as a great story-teller, and at times even a little mischievous. Earl and Norma instilled the importance of family and education, on their two daughters, Teresa Jacka and Patricia Ellington and their families.
Earl is survived by his wife, Norma, daughters Teresa and husband David Jacka, Patricia Ellington and husband Mike Hill, grandchildren Jeff Jacka (Liz), Jennifer Jancich (Bryan), James Babcock, Sarah Elizabeth Schmidt (James), great-grandson Bentley Jancich, siblings Vivian Hogge, R.W. Ellington (Ginny), Arye Dethmers, Evelyn Sallee (Sam). He is predeceased by parents, Lindsay and Hazel Ellington; sister, Grace Edith; brother, Lindsay Ellington Jr.; and brothers-in-law, Fred Hogge and Donald Dethmers.
Memorial services: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Southlake Village Rehabilitation and Care Center, 9401 Andermatt Drive. In lieu of flowers, and to honor Dr. Ellington’s continued commitment to education, the family is requesting memorials be made to University of Nebraska Foundation, Ellington Memorial Fund, at https://nufoundation.org/ways-to-give or to the Earl F and Norma J Ellington Scholarship, University of Kentucky, Marci Hicks, E S Good Barn, 1451 University Drive, Lexington, Ky.