It is with deepest sorrow we announce the sudden passing of our beloved Macklin “Mack” Duane Ellis. Mack went on to greener pastures with family by his side January 7, 2024 at the tender age of 32.
Mack was born in Phoenix, AZ to Kenneth Duane and Patricia Ellis on February 6, 1991. Mack, like the John Wayne character he was named after, was respected and cherished by many and considered one of a kind. He had an immense love and appreciation for his family and friends and expressed kindness to all, even at a young age. Mack treasured his time spent with loved ones; it didn’t matter the occasion – family meals, trap shooting, Saturday nights out, road trips, Suns or Cardinals watch parties, or 18 holes of golf. Mack’s passion for sports was only matched by his passion for his animals. He was active in 4-H and FFA. Countless hours were spent raising and showing cattle across the country. His dogs were treated like his children.
After graduating from Gilbert High School in 2009, Mack attended the College of Southern Idaho. Here he competed on the livestock judging team and obtained an Animal Science degree. He also completed an internship for JB Ranch in Crawford, NE. His infectious smile and laughter, genuine heart, and love for life were well known around campus and gained him several more lifelong friends.
Mack returned home to continue his education at the University of Arizona but was presented with a job opportunity as a fiber technician in the telecommunications industry. Mack seized the opportunity and quickly excelled, thanks largely in part to his intelligence and strong work ethic. Mack’s career was cut short by his untimely death, but he was proud of the communities he served, especially during his time with Saddleback Communications in Scottsdale, and his achievements, including becoming an OSP Engineer.
While living and working in his home state, Mack courted his longtime college friend, Darby Littler, who eventually moved to Arizona to be with him. Mack was, by definition Darby’s best friend. They did everything together but particularly enjoyed traveling, entertaining friends, playing basketball, and watching their favorite shows – College Game Day, Dateline, and Wheel of Fortune. Mack and Darby supported and confided in one another. They loved each other fiercely and unconditionally. The two wed September 18, 2021 in Buhl, ID and settled down in Chandler, AZ.
The couple’s family grew October 12, 2022, when they welcomed their sweet baby girl, Renley Rae, a name chosen by Mack, into the world. Mack only had 15 short months with his beautiful daughter, but he was sure to make the most of that special time – teaching her how important the letters “ESPN” were and showing her his best dance moves while playing her favorite song, “Come and Get Your Love”, every morning. She loved spending time with her “dada”, and Mack’s love for her was immeasurable.
Macklin is survived by his wife, Darby, and their treasured daughter, Renley; beloved parents Kenneth Duane and Patricia Ellis; dearest siblings Marcey (Daniel) Algara, Jessica (Chris) Vierkoetter, and Wyatt (Mariah) Ellis; and adored niece and nephews Brynn, Corbin, Hudson, Lucas, Samwel, and Ryker.
A memorial service to celebrate Mack’s life will be held on Thursday, January 18th at 9:00 am at Gilbert Memorial Park (2100 E Queen Creek Rd).
In lieu of flowers, we kindly request donations be made to the Macklin Ellis Memorial Fund, benefiting Sunshine Acres Show Team. This fund will continue Mack’s legacy by supporting the organization that held a special place in his heart and the 4-H community. Donations to the Macklin Ellis Memorial Fund can be made online through GoFund Me https://gofund.me/c1041e3f
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the outpour of love, kindness, prayers, and support. Anyone blessed to have been around Mack knows the void that has been left behind that can never be filled. We are deeply saddened by his sudden passing but know he will forever live on in our hearts and those of others he held dear. May he rest in eternal peace and may his legacy shine brightly.