Cleffie L. Ellis, 70, president and chairman of the board of Arlington Electronic Wholesalers Inc., died Tuesday at Fairfax Hospital after a stroke.

Mr. Ellis was born in Warren County, N.C. He moved to the Washington area in the early 1930s and attended the old Capitol Institute of Radio and Technology here.

In 1937, he established Ellis Radio, later Ellis Radio and Television, in Arlington. He operated the firm until closing the business two years ago. In 1960, he founded Arlington Electronic Wholesalers.

He served with the rank of major in the Army Signal Corps during World War II.

A longtime Arlington resident, Mr. Ellis was a charter member and former board member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the board of directors of the Virginia Retail Merchants Association.

He was a member of the board of trustees of Cherrydale United Methodist Church, a member of Masonic Lodge No. 42 and a charter member of Kena Temple.

Survivors include his wife, Ella P., of Arlington; a daughter, Karyl E. Walls of Durham, N.C.; a son, Dr. David J. Ellis of Raleigh, N.C.; a brother, John D., of Falls Church, and four granddaughters.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Cleffie L. Ellis Memorial Fund at Cherrydale Methodist Church.