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Samuel Roy Ellison

June 10, 1938 June 11, 2024
Samuel  Roy Ellison
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Obituary for Samuel Roy Ellison

A celebration of the life of Samuel R. Ellison will occur on

Monday, June 24, 2024

Viewing 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Service 11:00 a.m.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church 

6361 Lancaster Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19151

Interment: Rolling Green Cemetery

Samuel Roy Ellison 

Samuel Roy Ellison was born in Manchester, GA on June 10, 1938, as the fourth of eight

children to Robert Ellison and Flora Owens Ellison. He was raised in Georgia, and thereafter the

family moved to Philadelphia and then on to South, New Jersey settling in Atco.

During his childhood, Roy helped to support his family by doing contract work with his father.

Roy was educated in the Atco school system, graduating from Lower Camden Regional High

School. As a high school student, he competed in three varsity sports: football, wrestling, and

track & field. Roy was a State Champion in Wrestling.

Roy enrolled at New York University where he earned the first of his multiple degrees. He was

drafted out of college, and deployed during the American invasion of Vietnam serving two tours

as a Captain and Artillery Officer in Vietnam. He did his Basic Combat Training at Ft. Benning,

GA, where he later became a Mason, and continued his Training at Ft. Sill, OK.

After returning from military service, he completed his education and graduated from NYU with

a BS in Industrial Arts/Industrial Relations. Soon after graduation, Roy moved back to the

Philadelphia area and later married Delores Ellison, having two daughters Shawn and Shelby. He

became a member of the Darby Township School Board of Delaware County, PA. He also taught

Middle School, High School, and Vocational Educational School in Chester, Delaware County,


Roy then completed his MA in Architecture at The University of Pennsylvania School of Fine

Arts/Architects Workshop. Soon afterwards, he secured his Associates degree in Business

Administration from Temple University School of Business.

After completing his education, he worked for several large internationally known majority firms

in the Philadelphia area such as Harbeson, Hough, Livingston & Larson (H2L2) where he

developed his skills, working on many national and international projects, such as the Hershey

Medical Center and Animal Research Facility, Hershey, PA; the Girard Point (double decker)

Bridge, Phila., PA; the final phases of the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC;

planning for the PECO building, Phila., PA; Hetzel Union Building (HUB), East Halls Dorms

(first & second additions), Nittany Lion Inn, Pennsylvania State University; Social Sciences

Building, University of Pennsylvania; the original Children’s Hospital which provided the

footprint for the new existing CHOP, Phila., PA; also Keystone Concrete Contractors, Inc.,

Phila., PA., Foundations for Centre Square office complex, the AT&T Technology Center, also,

McCluskey & Company Builders, various projects starting with the US Mint, Phila., PA, the

William J. Green, Jr. Federal Building & Courthouse, the PNB Building at 5th & Market Sts.,

Phila., PA, the new Baltimore Post Office & Maintenance Facility, Baltimore, MD.

Later on, Roy branched out on his own as an entrepreneur. He was the President & Founder of

Ujima Design Development Group LTD., an architectural, planning, engineering, and real estate

developers organization. Mr. Ellison was also the Founder & Managing Principal of Ujima

Architects, LLC., an Architectural and Interior Design Firm. He served as a co-founder of

(MAEA) The Minority Architects, and Engineers Alliance, LLP, and (NOMA) National

Organization of Minority Architects, Inc. His firm completed several major transit projects in the

Philadelphia area amounting to approximately $28 million for the Elmwood Transportation

Facility, located at Island Road & Elmwood Aves., the Woodland Ave. Heavy Maintenance

Facility, and in partnership with Johnson and Jones Architects & Planners, PC. in New Jersey, an

additional $106 million in Transit Projects for (SEPTA) South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit

Authority and (NJTA) New Jersey Transit Authority.

Roy met Patricia Karen Walker-Ellison through their dear sister friend, Rita Naylor in the late

‘70s and they were together for nearly a decade before marrying in 1987 and had two children,

Simone Renee Walker Ellison &

Samuel Robert Walker Ellison, in 1991 and 1992, respectively. They purchased a home in

Dresher, PA, Montgomery County where the Ellison Family still resides. Roy then joined the

church community of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. He was

active in many ministries including the the Edward Muse Photography Ministry, the Men’s

Ministry & Fellowship, he also served as Chair of the Annual Church Outing Track & Field

events, where they had multiple running events and field games for all ages to enjoy,

additionally, through our youth programs, serving as a mentor to college students. After many

years of solo greeting, he founded the Monarch Greeters Ministry and spent countless Sundays

welcoming and assisting his church family into the church. He loved engaging with everyone as

they came up the front walkway, especially the children, and also made sure that all seniors could

safely get in and out of their vehicles, and assisted them in navigating their entrance via steps,

ramp or chairlift.

He became a member of The Viking Group, LLC in 2016, serving as Senior Vice President in

charge of professional services, and overseeing the technical aspects of all projects, as well as

interfacing with other professionals as the various projects require. He also directed planning,

development, architectural, and engineering requirements for each project.

Roy led the newly formed DLW, Development Corporation, LLC as the Chairman of the Board

of Directors, also serving the development of Family Entertainment Centers in the Northeast US,

the cost of construction ranging from $18-$50 million dollars. He also worked on and facilitated

the development of the Class A Ivy Hill Road Medical Office Complexes, with projected

construction costs of $25-$45 million.

Roy had extensive national and international experience in many disciplines, through his firm,

ECCO Engineering Services, LLC, including Architecture, Engineering, Construction &

Program Management Services, Inspections, Small Contractor Development, Real Estate

Development, Valuation, and Management Consulting Services. He has also taught Real Estate

Development at the college level in Nigeria, West Africa while working with his Nigerian

partner in Estate Planning and Valuation for 68,000 hectares of land, which ultimately comprised

the New Nigerian State Capital, Abuja, Nigeria, West Africa. His further work took him through

the East Coast of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Roy, while in association with Thacker Engineering and Gaston Thacker General Contractors,

Birmingham, AL, provided General Construction & Program Management services for the

restoration of 37 Police Precincts in New York City and 4 PS High Schools, the addition to

Harlem Hospital & Medical Facility, NY, NY, a $53.5 million High School project in Miami, FL,

along with an $18.5 million Elementary, Middle & High School, along with their Athletic

Complex, in Charles City, VA.

While relocating to the Gulf after the massive devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he spent over

five years in New Orleans, LA from 2005 - 2010, working on the rebuilding effort and assisting

the many disadvantaged families in recovering claims damages for their properties. His firm,

SREA Associates, LTD. provided Forensic Engineering, Construction & Program Management


Roy’s family was always very important to him and even though he traveled a lot for work, he

always made time for family events, including birthdays, school programs, graduations, sport

competitions & championships, especially the annual Penn Relays, where his son Samuel

competed for many years from high school, college & elite levels which included sponsorship by

Adidas. He was always on the infield taking photos at the finish line and while cheering for

Samuel and Samuel’s teammates they would often ask Samuel, “how does your Dad get out here

on the infield?”

Roy loved to travel & took the family on many trips, but he especially loved road trips over the

years to his places of peace and serenity, and golfing, including the beaches of Martha’s

Vineyard, MA, Hilton Head, SC, Ocean City, MD, Florida, as well as traveling worldwide to

Africa, Europe, the Far East, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. He and Patty started off their

marriage with a honeymoon trip of a lifetime to Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Singapore,

Thailand, & Malaysia.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Ellison, as well as his sister, Robbie

Mae Ellison, who died during infancy, brothers, Arthur Lee Ellison, Thomas Ellison, Charles

Ellison, and sisters, Allean Johnson, Annie Ruth Hart, and niece Diane Johnson, and his first

wife Delores Ellison.

Among those who are left to cherish this extraordinary gentleman are his loving and caring wife

of 37 years, Patricia Walker-Ellison; children Simone & Samuel, Shawn McLeod, Shelby Perry

(Timothy Perry), Kezia Ellison, M.D. (Willie Wongus); grandchildren, Jerome McLeod,

DeShawn McLeod, Timothy Perry, Jr., Nylah Perry; brother, Eugene Ellison; cousin; Josephine

Pressley; a host of cousins, nieces & nephews including Anita Murray-Jackson, Jeannette

Johnson, Arlene Ahiarakwe, Vanessa Worley, Carmella Johnson, Carrie Johnson,

Pastor Tamika Johnson (Apostle John Wiggins), William H. Hart (Davida), Denise Freeman (the

late Stanley Freeman); and a host of grandnieces and nephews, great-grand nieces and nephews;

and many lifelong devoted friends.

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