Ellis Stanley Katz

Feb 17, 1925 - Oct 18, 2015


Ellis Stanley Katz was born at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento on February 17, 1925 to Doris and Harry Katz. He passed away in Folsom, CA on October 18, 2015. He was 90 years young.
Ellis lived most of his 90 years in Sacramento. He and his parents lived the first three years of his life at the Sacramento County jail because his grandfather, Ellis Jones, was the sheriff at the time. The prisoners were his babysitters.
Ellis was a fourth generation Sacramentan who was preceded in death by his father, Harry Katz, his mother, Doris Lilly (Jones) Katz, his brother, John (Skip) Katz and his wife, Patricia (Pat) (Cadman) Katz.
Ellis is survived by his wife, Barbara (Savoie) Katz, his daughters, Cynthia Katz (Gordnier), Susan Katz and his sister Sue (Katz) Biancalana. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christopher Ryan, Kelly (Ryan) Celli; and his four great grandsons, Jackson, Joshua and Flynn Ryan and Chase Celli.
Ellis graduated from CK McClatchy High School where he was President of his Senior class in 1942.
Upon graduation from McClatchy in February 1943, Ellis volunteered for the US Navy. His entire time in the Navy was spent in the South Pacific Theater of Operation where he was awarded six battle starts.
He was discharged from the Navy in February 1946. In December 1947, he married Patricia Ann Cadman. They were happily married 48. Patricia passed away in 1995.
Ellis attended Sacramento City College for two years and then went into the optical business, Katz & Klein Optical Lab., with his father and Russell Klein. In 1960 he bought the business from his father and was President until 2002.
During his 50+ years in the optical business, Ellis was President of COLA (California Optical Laboratory Association) and OLA (Optical Labs Association of North America). Ellis was honored by the California State Optometrist Board by being inducted into the Paul Yarwood Memorial Award. He was the only wholesaler to receive this honor in 50 years. In 2000, he was made a Charter member of the OLA. Katz & Klein also established the School of Optometry at the University of California, Berkeley. Upon retiring from Katz & Klein in 2002, Ellis sold the business to his two partners, Corrine Hood and Mike Francesconi.
Ellis loved golf. He was President of Valley Hi Country Club in Elk Grove in 1975. According to Ellis, he shot under his age four times. He was instrumental in teaching his grandson, Chris Ryan, the game of golf. The two of them had many great rounds together. In his later years, Ellis loved playing with Chris and his great grandsons.
Ben Ali Shrine was also an important part of Ellis’ life. He followed in his father’s footsteps as President of the Ben Ali Wrecking Crew and became Potentate of Ben Ali Shrine in 1979. He was President Emeritus of the Shriners Run and Walk from 1998-2008, President Emeritus of the Shriners and Emeritus of the Wrecking Crew.
Elis married Barbara Savoie in 2002. He had known Barbara for more than fifty years. They traveled extensively around the US with the WWII vets and visited such far off places as China and Russia. They had a wonderful life together and Ellis loved and appreciated Barbara’s family very much over the years.
One of the highlights of his life was each year taking his family on vacation to such places as Mexico and Alaska. He particularly enjoyed spending time with his great grandsons on those trips.
Ellis always said he must have been a “hell of a guy” to have two such great wives as Pat and Barbara. He lived his life “my way” to the very end.
In lieu of flowers, Ellis asked that you make donations to the Ben Ali Building Fund, PO Box 21-4477, Sacramento, CA 95821.
A private internment will take place at East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento. A celebration of Ellis’ life will occur at the Ben Ali Temple, 3262 Marysville Blvd., Sacramento. November 11, 2015 from 4-7 pm. Friends are invited to attend the Celebration of Life.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA
US 95841


  • Barbara Katz says:

    I loved this man so much and he was the most generous person I have ever known. We traveled the world together and enjoyed every minute. I was blessed to have him in my life.

  • Pete Poulos says:

    I don’t know about all these platitudes, I worked at his place for a few months and was fired for the look I had on my face when I got the short end of the stick on my shift as always. He liked to throw open the door of the lab and yell Let’s get some goddamn work done here. That’s the Ellis Katz I remember circa 1986 What a jerk.

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