Jimmy Ellis, CEO of Atlanta auto dealer group, dies at 67

Jim Ellis dealerships to close Wednesday for funeral of company leader
James “Jimmy” Edward Ellis

Credit: Courtesy

Credit: Courtesy

James “Jimmy” Edward Ellis

The president and CEO of a well-known automotive dealership group in metro Atlanta died Saturday, and the company announced it will close its 20 locations Wednesday for his funeral services.

James “Jimmy” Edward Ellis, 67, of Suwanee, died at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital on Saturday, surrounded by loved ones, according to an online obituary. No cause of death has been released.

For the past seven years, Ellis has been the chief executive of Jim Ellis Automotive Group, a metro Atlanta dealership empire founded by his father, James Wesley Ellis Jr. Both the elder Ellis and his wife, Billie Jean Sammons Ellis, survive their son.

Funeral services for Jimmy Ellis will take place at Johns Creek Baptist Church on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Normal business hours for the company’s chain of 20 dealerships will resume Thursday.

“We are grateful for your understanding and patience in this time of loss,” his family said in a statement on the dealership’s website and social media pages.

Phone and email messages left for company officials were not immediately returned.

Ellis was born Aug. 26, 1955, in Atlanta. While still in high school in southwest DeKalb County, he began working after school by cleaning, moving vehicles and performing light mechanical work in his father’s service shop. When he graduated, he worked as a technician and eventually performed jobs in most of the company’s departments.

When he was 28, he became the general manager of the newly acquired Porsche-Audi dealership in Tucker. He would later become the company’s vice president and chief operating officer for 18 years until he became president and CEO in January 2015.

Ellis had hobbies that included boating, fishing, golfing, exercising and driving fast cars, according to his obituary. He was also a fan of the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

“Times dearest to Jimmy were spent at his second home in Charleston, Anchoring Oaks, where he cherished many memories with his wife, children and grandchildren,” the obituary said.

In addition to his parents, he’s survived by his wife of 48 years, Glynnell Ellis, their two children, five grandchildren and many other relatives. His full obituary can be read at legacy.com.

The obituary said that in lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.