Patricia “Patti” Potwin Ellis died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on April 10, 2020, following an extended illness.
Patti was born on July 9, 1940, in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Arthur Sims Potwin and Wingfield Barry Potwin. Patti spent the early years of her life in Hartford and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She grew up in Greenwood, and after graduating from Greenwood High School, where she was an accomplished tennis player, she attended the University of Alabama, where she received her B.A. in art and biology. Patti continued her studies in art, architectural drafting, computer science and gifted education at the University of South Florida, Manatee Community College and Delta State University. She received her M.A. in art education from The University of Mississippi, graduating magna cum laude, and her M.F.A. in studio art from Mississippi College, graduating summa cum laude. Pattie married Warren Franklin Ellis in 1964 and lived in Wurzburg, Germany, for two years. Patti, a true Renaissance woman, lived in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida, before returning to her home in Greenwood. Pattie had a passion for sharing her love of art with others, especially children. While in Florida, she developed the curriculum for the classes she taught to elementary and high school students in science, mural reading, art, drawing and watercolor. Upon her return to Greenwood, she continued this passion by teaching gifted art classes in the Leflore County School System, in Art for Success and in private classes where she was adored by her students. Patti was a teaching assistant in the Art Department at Ole Miss for two years and was an adjunct professor in the Art Department at Mississippi College for 10 years. While at Mississippi College, Patti wrote a course workbook, which was published for use by drafting and interior design students. Patti’s artwork has been displayed in numerous galleries in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida and is in permanent collections in Florida and Mississippi. Patti was extremely proud of her research into the pending publication of “William Spencer Bagdatopoulos, Nomadic Artist,” a collection of Bagdatopoulos’ sketches, paintings and watercolors during his time in India. Patti is a member of the Colonial Dames of America, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Junior League of Bradenton and Chi Omega Sorority (Honor Pledge, University of Alabama).
Patti was predeceased by her parents; her twin sister, Josephine Wingfield “Winkie” Potwin; and her brother, Arthur Barry Potwin. She is survived by her sons, Andrew “Drew” Shelby Ellis of Bradenton, Florida, and Robert Barry Ellis of Panama City, Florida, and her grandchildren, Robert Beck Ellis and Kathryn Eliza Ellis of Panama City. According to her wishes, Patti’s ashes will be scattered in Sarasota Bay, Florida. A memorial service will be held in Greenwood at a later date. The family has requested that memorials be made to the Leflore County Humane Society, 1810 Cypress Ave., Greenwood, MS 38930, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Breeland Funeral Home in Canton is in charge of arrangements.