Meet Your Neighbors: Bob and Patti Ellis

Meet Your Neighbors: Bob and Patti Ellis


Cops and robbers. Lakewood Police Detective Bob was chasing a robber and the trail took him to the bank. Well, not chasing actually, but investigating a burglary. When he saw Banker Patti he got a clue: a clue to what his future would be. It turns out, he met his match and made the catch of a lifetime. Meet Bob and Patti Ellis…  Interview by Bruce McDonald. 

Bruce: We often hear of people meeting at work, but not often as part of a cops-and-robbers scene. After that chance meeting, what brought you here to the Southern Gables neighborhood? 

Bob: I was living here before Patti and I met. I moved here in 1979, and we got married in ’81 so we’ve been together here since then. I grew up in Wheat Ridge, and my family moved to where Addenbrooke Park is now, when it was farmland. My dad worked on the dairy farm that became part of Bear Creek Lake Park. The farmhouse was moved from there and it’s on display in the Lakewood Heritage Center, the Peterson House. 

Patti: I was born in Nebraska but my dad worked for the railroad and we moved to Colorado.  I grew up in Wheat Ridge. We both went to the same high school, but at different times so we didn’t know each other until that burglary. I had a condo there when Bob and I met.  I had lived in Lakewood when I was younger and knew the area pretty well, and got to know it better when we were dating since Bob lived here. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the area. Bob: That’s for sure! Changes all around since it was farmland when I was a kid, and changes in the city since the time I started with the Lakewood PD. I was in the first Lakewood Police Recruit Academy class, 1970. 

So what kinds of changes heve you seen here in Southern Gables?  Well, this is where things haven’t changed as much. Most of the neighbors we know are the same people for all these years, though there’s starting to be some turnover from what we see. The neighborhood is still quiet and it seems pretty safe. Oh there was one big change, over on the west side of the neighborhood, when they extended Garrison Street through from Jewell down to Morrison Road. The developer had told the original homeowners that the open fields there would stay. They’ve probably gotten over it, but it’s something we used to hear about. 

What are some things you like about the neighborhood?  It’s quiet, like we said, and the mature trees are nice. I like that the houses aren’t all cookie-cutter, and there is a variety of home designs. Most people keep up their lawns and landscaping pretty well, but it’s kind of sad to see the few that let it go without any care. 

How about your work, hobbies, how you spend your leisure time?  Bob: I’m retired from the Police Department, but I work at Coors Field, for all the Rockies games. So you get to see all the games?  No, I wish, but I still love the job, just beng there. My job is at the entrance to the suites, and that’s a pretty good assignment. Interesting people. I like to do a lot around the house, keeping the place up, taking care of the cars, and I do the gardening. Patti: I retired from First Bank back in 2016, so I guess it’s been a while now. I have done the annual financial audit for the Neighborhood Association for the last few years, and that lets me exercise some of my banking background. A great thing about being retired is having time to be with grandchildren, and we see them pretty regularly. We have one set in Omaha, so we travel there a lot. The other set of grandkids is closer, in Parker. I also like to walk around the neighborhood. It’s a great place for that, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. And I love to read. 

Do you have a favorite quote or saying you’d share with us?  Patti: Work hard. If you get hired, go to your job. 

Bob, how about you?  Sure. “You have the right to remain silent…”

Well, I guess I’d better wrap it up then. But first, about that burglary – did you get the guy?  

Bob: Sure. And better than that, I got the girl! 

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