Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy and First Lady Rose Dunleavy mourn the loss of former Alaska State Senator Johnny Ellis who represented Anchorage. The former legislator passed away on February 9, 2022.
“My family offers our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of former Senator Ellis,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Johnny was an influential leader in the Alaska Democratic Party and was well respected across the board. As an educator, I respected Johnny as a colleague and as someone who mentored the next generation of Alaskans. He will be remembered as a traveler, learner, history buff and, of course, an accomplished politician.”
Johnny was born March 13, 1960, in Springfield, MO, and moved to Anchorage in 1975. He pursued higher education at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Claremont McKenna College. He was first elected to the state House at the young age of 26 and gave his life to politics, continuously serving Alaskans for about 24 years. Johnny served as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives from 1987 to 1993, then was elected to the Alaska Senate from 1993 to 2017 and was the majority leader of the Senate for several years. He dedicated any free moments to serving on upwards of 10 committees and boards. Outside of serving Alaska through politics, he was a business owner and was a commissioner of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Governor Dunleavy has ordered that Alaska and U.S. flags fly at half-staff sunrise to sunset on February 15, 2022, in honor of former Senator Johnny Ellis. February 15th falls on the Key Coalition of Alaska’s Key Campaign week, in which Johnny Ellis was the legislation champion of the effort. Key Coalition is a non-profit, statewide advocacy organization of people with disabilities and their families, friends and other supporters.