Ellis Satterwhite (October 14, 1928 - March 5, 2003)

Ellis Satterwhite with group of Scouts

Ellis Satterwhite (left) imparting wisdom on Troop 49 Scouts (Circa. 1994)


Ellis Satterwhite was born October 14, 1928 in LaGrange Georgia to Henry and Lillian Satterwhite. His identical twin, Elmer, had been born just a few minutes earlier. Ellis spent his early childhood in LaGrange being typical “red headed” boy playing and getting into everything on his uncle’s farm and surrounding woods. The Satterwhites moved to Columbus, Georgia and Ellis entered Baker Village High School. Ellis worked for his father at the local Columbus Kennett’s Dairy. He graduated from Baker Village High School in June of 1946.

In September of 1947, Ellis enlisted in the United States Coast Guard and trained to be a fire fighter at the Coast Guard station in Mayport Florida. Ellis completed his tour of duty and was honorably discharged in March of 1950. Both Ellis and Sally returned to Columbus and then across the river to Phoenix City, Alabama.

Ellis joined Ryder Truck Lines as a long haul driver in 1953 and enjoyed a long 36 year career. He earned numerous “Safe Driving” awards and “No Accident” awards during this time. He was a member of the Teamster Union Local #71. In 1965 Ryder transferred him to Charlotte and he and Sally settled in the Newell Community. He retired from Ryder/PIE in 1989.

But it is Ellis’ service to youth that he is most remembered for. In September of 1974, in a response for help, Ellis began his long association with the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 49 at Back Creek Church. He became an active Assistant Scoutmaster right away and even selected work schedules that allowed him to come to troop meetings and camping trips. When he needed a new vehicle, he got one that he could use for Scouts. During his over 30 years as a scout leader, Ellis focused on serving the youth. He enjoyed teaching young men outdoor skills, especially knots and lashing. He developed a program to reward scouts who went beyond learning the just required knots in the handbook. For those who learned them all he would present a special knot for their name board. That program continues today in Troop 49, known as “Earning Your Ellis Knot”. Mr. S. as he was called was great working with youth one on one. They would listen to him many times before they would listen to other leaders. The “grandfather image” that Ellis represented was great.

Ellis not only served Troop 49 but also was instrumental in starting Troop 43 at Independence Hill Baptist and served as their Scoutmaster for a while. He was active in the Order of the Arrow and earned the Catawba Lodge Vigil Honor and Arrowman of the Year. In 2004 the Hornet Nest District presented the Ellis Satterwhite Award to the outstanding youth member of the district in Ellis’ honor. During his many years of Scouting Ellis earned numerous awards and honors which included the District Award of Merit, the James E West Award, and the Silver Beaver Award.

The troop has honored Ellis by creating an Ellis Satterwhite Memorial Fund that assists scouts who need financial assistance to participate in our troops scouting activities. Ellis has also been honored by our Order of the Arrow's Sehwatu Chapter from the Catawba Lodge by presenting a yearly award to the chapters youth arrowman of the year in his name.

Thank you Ellis for your untiring service to the youth of Troop 49 and the Catawba Lodge.