Lindley “Big Don” Ellison passed away from colon cancer on Friday, July 29. He was surrounded by family. “Big Don” was 55 years old.
“Big Don” was born in Dallas, Texas, on August 25, 1966. Ellison graduated in 1984 from W.W. Samuel High School with an entrepreneurial spirit. He loved getting his hands dirty. He owned several different businesses ranging from a telecommunications company to a concrete business and even a gym. However, “Big Don’s” true talent was behind a microphone and making people laugh. According to his family, “he didn’t have a serious bone in his body.”
“Big Don” was also a passionate drag racer. He loved the sport from a young age and continued to work in the business. Later, he combined his love for racing of all sorts and announcing and turned it into a legendary career, starting by announcing off-road events across the country. Fans could find him wearing his backward ball cap embroidered with his famed moniker.
Ellison loved being at the track and got involved with the PDRA from an early start. He wore many hats but loved doing it, whether he was promoting an upcoming race, announcing with his booming and happy-go-lucky voice on the microphone or reporting from the Top End Zone.
Ellison lived life to the fullest and even made his way onto the hit reality show, “The Amazing Race.” He later made Rose Bud, Arkansas, his home and loved spending time with friends and family. The man with the booming voice and infectious energy never met a stranger because he’d make everyone feel welcome and appreciated wherever he roamed. Everyone could count on “Big Don’s” positive attitude, guidance and heart of gold. He is missed by many after his four-year journey with colon cancer. Many have flooded social media with their condolences.
“Big Don” is survived by his wife, Calli Ellison, of 6 years; his daughter, Shelbi Craig and husband, Kaleb; his grandkids, Braylin & Blitz Craig; sister, Casondra Lanning; nephew, Dakota Lanning; niece, Ashlee & John Keech & their children, Sadie & Isiah Keech.
“Big Don” will be memorialized with two different services. The first Celebration of Life is Saturday, August 20, 2022, at 2 pm at the Rose Bud First Baptist Church. The second is set for Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 4 pm at the Texas Motorplex Champions Club.