A free spirit who was wise beyond his years, Ellis Weems called himself “The Last Gentleman”. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone smile and loved to make other people laugh. He was also very smart, always looking at how things worked. His mom took him to a circus when he was 5 years old. Unlike other children, instead of admiring the acts, Ellis wanted to know what was going on with all the wires in the back...much more interested in how they made it all work. He also loved to eat. His mom cooked every day, he preferred her cooking to eating out, and he at A LOT which meant a large grocery bill. He never wasted food, and needed the fuel for his avid love of skateboarding. He also loved to travel so the military was a good fit. Unfortunately, Ellis lost his battle on July 15, 2016 at the age of 24.
This portrait received funding to go home to his family. Jessica was able to deliver it to his mom in person in North Carolina. She feels blessed to have met her and spent an afternoon in her home. A copy of Ellis's portrait continues to travel with Jessica and the Words Matter exhibit.