Devota M. Ellis, 92, formerly of Paradise, Calif., and Rogers, Ark., passed away early Thursday morning, April 28, 2011, at Trinity Mission Health and Rehabilitation Center in Italy, Texas, where she resided for a little more than four years.

She was born April 30, 1918, in Martins Mill, Texas to Josiah Melton Halbrook and Lois (Stegall) Halbrook along with Cloval Halbrook Hobbs, Jareld Halbrook, and Edith Halbrook Barrentine, all of whom preceded her in passing. She married once for a lifetime to Bayard F. Ellis for 56 years and they had one child, Beverly Jean Ellis, both of whom have passed away. She was a loving aunt, devoted wife, mother, caring sister and friend.

Survivors include the following nieces and nephews: Ferman Barrentine and Joe Barrentine formerly of Canton, Texas, now residing in Italy, Texas; Paul Barrentine and Margaret Barrentine of Canton; Mary Lynda Hobbs of Austin; Kay Halbrook Linback of Edgewood; Donna Halbrook Harrison of Wills Point; Ricky Halbrook of Edgewood; the family of Layron Halbrook, deceased. Others by marriage include: Don Clark Runyan of Lynnwood Wash.; Diane Runyan Sangren of Lynden, Wash.; David Runyan of Indian Wells, Calif. and Carol Ellis Montague of Tallahassee, Fla.

Aunt Devota, also known as Aunt Dee, was an active business woman in Paradise, Calif., where she and Uncle Bay owned and operated the Paradise Motel, a travel lodge located 175 miles northeast of San Francisco and 175 northwest of Lake Tahoe. Among other interests and activities, she was president of the International Quota Club of Paradise. She was also a great enthusiast of jumping horse riders, especially of their only child Beverly, who was a wonderful rider. Upon selling the motel, Bay and Dee retired in Rogers, Ark., which became their base for traveling all 50 of the United States over 20 years. There Aunt Dee developed a love for the Bella Vista Men’s Chorus with a particular interest in that one man whom she adored – Bayard Ellis. They were members of Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas. A match made in heaven, they married the same month, same year, they met as American Airline employees and grew more in love with each passing year. They will be missed until we meet again as Jesus promises.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2011, at Boze- Mitchell-McKibbin Chapel in Italy to celebrate Devota’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800 (  or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 4144 N. Central Expwy, Suite 750, ?Dallas, TX 75204 ( or to Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas, 208 E. Pleasant Grove Road, Lowell AR 72745

Arrangements by Boze-Mitchell-McKibbin Funeral Home in Waxahachie, Texas.