Robert P. Ellis, 88, of Northborough


Robert P. EllisNorthborough – Robert Patrick Ellis, 88, of Northborough, died of cancer at his home on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. He is survived by his wife, Christine Quaglia Ellis. The couple had been happily married for 58 years.

He is also survived by his son Matthew and his daughter Kathryn. Robert was preceded in death by his son Anthony, in 2014. He leaves behind three grandchildren, Phoebe, Ian, and Mia, as well as a brother named John. All remember him very fondly and with tremendous love.

Robert was born in Binghamton, New York in 1935, the son of Lester Ellis and Ruth Pratt, and he lived in Binghamton throughout his younger years. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving honorably from 1958 to 1960. Eventually he became an associate professor of English at Worcester State University (then Worcester State College), teaching there from 1965 to 1995. Many hundreds of students benefited greatly from his wonderful lectures.

Later, Robert was active in his local community working as a historian for the Northborough Historical Society, which lasted twenty-five years. He published two books, one about Northborough during the Civil War and another chronicling the life of philosopher Sir Francis Bacon. He received recognition from the town in 2016 when he was named grand marshal of the Northborough Applefest Parade. He also won several awards for his civic and scholarly work, most recently the 2024 Massachusetts History Alliance Star Award which he would have accepted on June 3.

A calling hour will be held on Tuesday, May 14, from 9:30am – 10:30am at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough. Robert’s funeral will follow at 10:30am in the funeral home. Interment with Military Honors will take place in Howard Street Cemetery, Northborough.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Robert’s memory to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements are under the care of Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough, MA. To leave a condolence, please visit

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