ELLERMAN, John Henning
John Henning Ellerman, an adventurous traveler, the pillar of his family, an ardent supporter of arts and education, and a great friend to many, passed away unexpectedly on August 20, 2021. Born in Evanston, Illinois on December 5, 1936, John proudly served as a Captain in the United States Air Force from 1958-1962. He then lived and worked on the North Shore of Chicago before also establishing strong roots in the Scottdale/Phoenix community in 2000. John lived his life with enthusiasm, passion, optimism, and gratitude but above all else, John loved his family. Known as Big John to many, he was truly a force of nature and he lived life to its fullest.
John is survived by his wife of twenty-one years, Judith Nadler Ellerman, his three sons, Jeffrey (Pamela) and Bradley of Dallas, Texas, and Brian (Jennifer) of Kenilworth, Illinois, three step-children, Katherine Rozei, Jonathan (Kelly) Friedman and Gillian O'Nan of Atlanta, Georgia, sister, Nancy Simpson of Northbrook, Illinois, his former wife Roberta Ellerman Goodall, seventeen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
A successful and innovative entrepreneur, John founded Management Compensation Group, a thriving insurance benefits business. He was ahead of his time in many areas which seem commonplace today and through his innovation, creativity and gumption helped create the giant defined benefit insurance industry as it is known today. A munificent philanthropist, John's contributions were reflected in his leadership and membership to his beloved Alma Mater, Lawrence University, where he proudly served on the Board of Directors for almost four decades. Additionally, John served on the Board of the Anti-Defamation League, 5 Arts Circle, and The Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. Countless other charitable organizations and foundations such as the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict at ASU benefitted from his leadership and generosity. He loved supporting charities where his friends and family were involved and was quick to underwrite those causes oftentimes before being asked.
Community was important to John as evidenced by his long-standing participation in the Tuesday Morning Men's Breakfast Group as well as his membership in Sunset Ridge Country Club where he loved to play golf with his innumerable beloved friends, who will miss his loyalty and larger than life presence.
He had self-described wanderlust and literally traveled all of the world's continents and more than sixty countries including an expedition to Antarctica. Lovingly referred to by his three sons as John the Maptist, he loved taking his family on great trips that were incredibly well planned and exposing them to different cultures and places which not only included the best hotels, food, and wine but also his fabulous "teaching moments".
In lieu of flowers, donations in John's name may be made to Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin or the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University. A Celebration of Life will be held in Dallas, Texas and in Phoenix, Arizona at a date to be determined.