Ely, John

Written by David Green.

John Ely, 87, of W. Mulberry Road, Waldron, Mich., died Nov. 11, 2006, at his home.

He was born Sept. 20, 1919 in Fayette, Ohio, to Glenn M. and Clema M. (Winzeler) Ely. He married Doris Leininger on Nov. 11, 1939, in Wauseon, Ohio, and she survives.

John graduated from Fayette High School in 1937 and was a lifelong farmer.  He was a member of Fayette United Methodist Church, Lime Creek Grange, Lenawee Pomona Grange, Michigan State Grange, Michigan Grange Campers, Farm Bureau, MMPA and Borderline Square Dancers in Morenci.

John served on the State Grange Executive Committee for 22 years, the Waldron School Board for 14 years and the Hillsdale Intermediate School Board for nine years. He was inducted into the Michigan Farmers Hall of Fame in 1994.

Besides his wife, John is survived by two sons, Ronald (and Cretta) Ely of Waldron and Keith (and Kathy) Ely of Knoxville, Tenn.; four grandchildren, Kristine (and Ron) Witt of Cement City, Mich., Brenda (and Doug) Smelser of Dearborn, Mich., Michael (and Karen) Ely of Morenci and Karie Ely of Knoxville; six great-grandchildren, Jamie, Tara, Corey, Kylie and Austin, and one brother, Marvin (and Marjorie) Ely of Manitou Beach, Mich.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one great-granddaughter, Krista Sue Witt, in infancy.

Visitation is planned from 3 to 8 p.m. at Eagle Funeral Home in Fayette. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Eagle Funeral Home with Rev. Laura Clark officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant View Union Cemetery in Fayette.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fayette United Methodist Church, Hospice of Great Lakes or Michigan State Grange.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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