Kay Camille Conway Ellis, 74, died March 10, 2014, at her home in Winona, after a four year battle with cancer. She was born June 8, 1939, in Charleston, Mississippi. Her parents were the late Mike and Virginia Marsh of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and Rufus M. Conway.
Kay graduated from Crystal Springs High School in 1957 and entered the University of Southern Mississippi the following fall. She was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority and represented the University in the Miss Mississippi Pageant. In 1958, she married the love of her life, John Emmett Ellis, Jr., and moved to Starkville, graduating with honors from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in History. Upon graduation, the young couple made Winona their home. Kay made her mark as a downtown merchant for over thirty years as the owner of Lads 'n' Lasses. Upon retirement Kay enjoyed dual residency between Winona and Destin, which she enjoyed immensely, as it allowed her to spend time with her son and all her grandchildren, travel, and gaze upon her beloved gulf waters.
Kay truly never met a stranger. Her deep abiding love for her friends and family were evident in all she did, along with the steadfast belief in the possibilities each day held. Her kitchen skills left us enthralled as her passion for good food made sure no one left her table hungry. Ever. laughter flowed easily from her lips, but woe to the soul who dared commit an unkind or unjust act on anyone within her scope. She seemed to know the words to every song ever written, loved music, dancing, horses, dogs, and old movies. In her later years, she returned to her passion for cars and racing, sharing her excitement and knowledge of the tracks and drivers with many, proudly converting as many fans as she could to her beloved sport. She was our Kay, and we will miss her every day.
Kay is survived by her three children, Virginia Celeste Ellis McCullar (Mike) of Memphis, Tenn., Mary Laura Ellis Adkins (Curtis) of Grenada, John (Trip) Emmett Ellis, III (Elizabeth) of Destin, Fla., and her little sister, Susan Marsh Bryan (Larry) of Memphis, Tenn., as well as her adopted family, Stevan Lazich, Jessie Merritt, and Randy Martin.
Her greatest treasures are still her grandchildren: Camille, Mac, Lizzie, James Ellis, Del, Emmett, and Posey, along with her nephews, Austin, Spencer, and great-niece Ellie.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a contribution to Immanuel Church or the charity of your choice.
An online guestbook is available at www.ofhwinona.com.