Claude Thomas (Tuck) Ellis, 81, Neosho, passed away on May 31, 2018 following a short battle with lung cancer.

Claude Thomas (Tuck) Ellis, 81, Neosho, passed away on May 31, 2018                      following a short battle with lung cancer.  
Tuck was born on Feb. 24, 1937 in Carrollton, Mo., to Claud and Nellie Ellis, one of five children. Tuck graduated from Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., in 1955.   
Tuck met Jacqueline Kay Selix in High School and they were married on Aug. 18, 1956.
Following High School, Tuck enlisted in the Air Force from which he retired in 1976 reaching the highest enlisted rank of Chief Master Sargent during his 21 years of service.  Tuck and Kay were stationed at Carswell AFB Fort Worth, Texas where their son Tom was born; Kadena AFB Okinawa where the twins Jerry and Terry were born; McConnell AFB Wichita, Kansas; Ton Son Nuht AFB, Vietnam; Travis AFB Fairfield, California; Scott AFB Bellville, Illinois; Torrejon AFB Madrid Spain and Barksdale AFB Bossier City, Louisiana.  From base to base, continent to continent Tuck and Kay made lifelong friendships of which they cherish to this day.  
When Tuck decided to retire from the Air Force he and Kay had to decide where they wanted to spend their retirement years.  So they drove north from Louisiana and Kay’s parents drove south from Kansas City, Kansas and they met in Joplin Mo where they went on a search for a small family farm.   Not knowing a soul in the area they landed in Neosho, Mo in the summer of 1976 on a small farm just northwest of town and have called it home the last 42 years.  
After his retirement from the Air Force, Tuck worked for Job Service for 4 years until he was recruited to work as an Agent for Shelter Insurance from 1981 to 2001.  He was an exceptional Agent to his customers and for Shelter Insurance.  During the 20 years he worked for Shelter Insurance he came to know many people and their families and treasured their friendships.
Following his retirement from Shelter Insurance, Tuck worked the small cattle farm until after a long winter in 2007, he turned in his cattle prod and focused his extra time on his golf game.  Up until February of this year, weather permitting Tuck was on the course four or five times a week.  He had many close friends that he enjoyed playing with, so no matter how good, bad or ugly his game was he kept on hitting the course to spend time with his buddies.
Tuck did not just cross paths with people, he embraced them.  He had a genuine smile, a twinkle in his baby blues and a sense of humor that everyone enjoyed.  He was a loving husband, a dedicated father, an incredible grandfather and a fabulous friend.  Tuck was a thoughtful, upstanding, loyal, funny and generous man who will absolutely be missed by many.
Tuck is survived by his wife Kay, three children and their spouses; Tom and Julie Ellis, Aurora Mo; Terry and Adam Telford, Neosho  and Jerry and Sue Ellis, Allen, Texas.  Five grandchildren; Chris and Brandy Ellis, Neosho, Jamie and Chris Foster, Exeter, Mo., Brittney Ellis, Houston, Texas, Sydney Ellis, Irving, Texas, Cassidy Ellis, Allen, Texas. Three Great Grandchildren; Trey Foster, Neosho, Jacob Foster, Exeter, Landon Ellis, Neosho.  Siblings, Betty and Don Halterman, Mesa, Ariz., Pete and Mary Cummings, Belton, Mo., Nancy Spangler, Bella Vista, Ark., Ron and Diane Ellis, Mt Pleasant, S.C.
Tuck and his family want to recognize and thank the Mercy Team, for the remarkable care he received from Mercy physicians and nursing staff, the Mercy Oncology Team and Mercy Hospice.
Visitation will be  from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. today at Clark Funeral Home.  A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Clark Funeral Home. Inurnment and full military honors will be held Monday at 3 p.m. at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Springfield, MO.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions in Tuck’s honor may  be made to Honor Flight and Neosho Faithful Friends, c/o Clark Funeral Home, P.O. Box 66; Neosho, MO  64850.
Online condolences may be posted at  Services and arrangements under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.