Shirley Calkins Ellis, Calkins Media co-owner and philanthropist, dies at 82

Shirley Calkins Ellis
Shirley Calkins Ellis

Shirley Calkins Ellis, a second-generation co-owner and vice president of Calkins Media, has died. She was 82.

The company said she died of natural causes at her home in Riverton, N.J., on Nov. 12, 2016.

Calkins Media publishes community newspapers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, and owns television stations in Alabama and Florida. The company was founded in 1937 by Shirley Ellis’ father, S.W. Calkins. After his death, Shirley Ellis and her sister Sandra Hardy became its co-owners.

Shirley Ellis’ son, Stanley Ellis, told the Burlington County (N.J) Times that his mother had helped the company in its transition to a more digital world.
“She knew that was what the community and market wanted. For her, the platform was secondary to good, quality journalism,” he said.

Known for her community philanthropy, she endowed a scholarship in the name of her husband, who preceded her in death, and created the Ellis Family Charitable Foundation, which supports arts, community and civic groups.

In addition to her son, Shirley Ellis is survived by two other sons, Bradley and Wesley; her sister Sandra Hardy and brother S.W. “Bill” Calkins; six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.