Bessie Stringer was born in Moultrie, Georgia on November 11, 1924, to Edgar and Mamie Stringer. Her family moved several times during her childhood before finally settling in Lamesa. Bessie graduated from Lamesa High School in 1943.
Bessie taught at Smyer High School in 1946-1947. On January 26, 1946, she married Lloyd Ellis. They became the parents of a daughter and a son, and Bessie quit teaching to stay home with her children until they started school.
In 1958 Bessie received a Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas State College. That fall she started teaching at Whiteface High School. After three years at Whiteface, Bessie moved to Canyon with her family. She taught mathematics at Canyon High School from 1961 until her retirement in 1977.
Bessie is a life member of the National Education Association and the Texas State Teacher Association. While at Canyon she was also active in Canyon Classroom Teacher Association and in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Upon her retirement she joined the Amarillo Retired Teachers Association.
Bessie and Lloyd moved to their present home in Ruidoso, New Mexico, in January of 1992. In addition to their two children, their family includes five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.