A.J. Ellington, Jr. ’49

Dr. A.J. Ellington, Jr., fondly known as A.J., lived a full and vibrant life to the very end.  At 91, he passed away on Thursday, April 27th, at Sunrise of Raleigh, NC after a brief illness.

Having spent his professional career in Burlington as a physician in obstetrics and gynecology, A.J. had a passion for his family, medicine and golf.  Elizabeth Yowell Ellington, his first wife and mother of his four children, passed away in 2007.  Over the last 25 years, A.J. continued to adore and treasure Molly Sanders, also from Raleigh.

Born April 3, 1926 in Burlington, NC to Dr. Amzi Jefferson Ellington, Sr. and Ruth Norwood Ellington, A.J. attended Burlington City Schools before entering Davidson College.  After one year at Davidson, he joined the US Navy, served on the USS New Jersey, and etched his name in history with other service members of this era as part of the Greatest Generation.

At the end of World War ll, he attended Davidson, UNC Chapel Hill, then medical school while enjoying great friends at the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

Married in 1950, A.J. and Betty Anne moved north to Philadelphia, where he completed his M.D. degree at Temple University School of Medicine and his certification in obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) in Richmond, VA.  A.J. returned to Burlington in 1956 to build a medical practice, was soon joined by his brother, Dr. Robert Norwood Ellington, and together they opened the Alamance Clinic for Women in 1965.

A.J. was active in the NC Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the North Carolina Medical Society, the Alamance Caswell Medical Society, served as chief of staff at Alamance County Hospital and was a founding member in 1960 of the South Central Obstetrics and Gynecology Society.

A.J.’s sweet golf swing was beautiful to watch, but his golfing demeanor and fun-loving spirit are what we’ll remember most.  Capturing the Alamance Country Club championship numerous times, A.J. also played at St. Andrews, Glen Eagles and Carnoustie in Scotland, Pebble Beach in California, and often attended the Masters at Augusta National.  Africa, Europe, Caribbean, Panama Canal and dude ranches in Wyoming were all completed travels on his bucket list.

An avid UNC Tar Heel sports fan, reader and traveler, A.J. was very engaging and never at a loss for words.

When living in Burlington, A.J. was a devoted member of the faith community of St. Mark’s Church.

Surviving Dr. Ellington are his four children: Elizabeth “Beth” Owen (Rob) of Raleigh, Amzi “Jeff” Ellington (Beth) of Burlington, Johns “Johnny” Ellington (Cheryl) of Raleigh, and Gregory “Greg” Ellington (Sonja), of Burlington; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his brother, Dr. Robert Norwood Ellington and wife Helen and their four children; and brother-in-law Dr. Robert Klutz Yowell and wife Barbara of Durham and their three children.  The family is most grateful for the friendship and companionship of Molly.

The family will be at St. Mark’s Church in Burlington on Monday, May 8th at 10:00 a.m. for a reception and an 11:00 a.m. service.  You are invited to celebrate both A.J.’s life among us for 91 years as well as his life now at home with his Lord and Savior, with burial at Pine Hill Cemetery following the ceremony.

Contributions may be made on behalf of Dr. A.J. to the soup kitchen he assisted, God’s Helpers of Raleigh, 807 Cotton Place, Raleigh, NC 27601, or to his home church, St. Mark’s Church, 1230 St. Mark’s Church Rd. Burlington, NC 27215.

Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com

Published in The News & Observer on Apr. 30, 2017