John Frank Ellenberg Jr., M.D., 70, of St. Simons Island, Ga., passed away on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, in Greenville, S.C., after a brief battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family.
He is survived by his wife, Brenda; five children, Jack (Dixie), Coleman (Michael), Matt (Ellen), Wells and William; five grandchildren, Briar, Britton, Natalie, Banks and Caroline; sister, Jane; nephews, Walt and Jack; and niece, Lura. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two sons, Patrick and Michael.
Ellenberg was born in Greenwood, S.C., on Sept. 16, 1947, to the late John Frank Ellenberg Sr. and Lura Norman Ellenberg. He graduated from Greenwood High School, where he attended American Legion Palmetto Boys State and served as president of the South Carolina Student Legislature.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University, where he was a member of the cheerleading team, Delta Kappa Alpha fraternity and Tiger Brotherhood. He earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Ellenberg served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam Era, attaining the rank of major. He completed his internship and residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.
After concluding his military service, he practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Greenville, S.C., for seven years. He then relocated to St. Simons and practiced for 28 years at the Brunswick campus of Southeast Georgia Health System. He was a certified Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and maintained medical licenses in both Georgia and South Carolina. At last count, he had delivered more than 7,000 lives into this world during his 35-year career.
In addition to his professional practice, he served in multiple positions on the medical executive committee of Southeast Georgia Health System, including chief of staff, vice chief of staff, secretary and treasurer. He also served four terms as chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
An avid outdoorsman and sportsman, Ellenberg enjoyed hunting, fishing, scuba diving and storytelling. He was loved by his family, friends, patients and colleagues, and will always be remembered for his courtesy, professionalism and focus on family. Despite life’s challenges, he never lost his smile or sense of humor, and set a fine example to which we can all aspire.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at St. Simons Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, at 3:00 p.m., with the Rev. Bob Brearley officiating. A reception will be held in the church’s fellowship hall immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to the St. Simons Land Trust (P.O. Box 24615, St. Simons Island, Ga. 31522) or to the charity of your choice.
Condolences can also be expressed to the family at www.blythfuneralhome.com, Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Greenwood, SC.