Roy Darwin Ely passed away July 7, 2018. He was born in Anchorage, Alaska on October 30, 1924.
Roy graduated in 1941 from Wasilla High School in Wasilla, Alaska. He was valedictorian of his graduating class, and with a smile he would add that there were 3 students in his class. He attended Columbia Preparatory School in Washington D.C. before entering the U.S. Navy Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1942 following appointment by the Alaska Territorial Delegate. Though his service occurred during WWII, he was never involved in armed action.
Roy married Betty Ann (Zurlo) on October 29, 1948 in Everett, WA.
Following his military service, he worked briefly as a spot welder (Boeing, Everett), a farm hand (Marysville) and a Civilian Guard (Port of Embarkation, Seattle). Roy became a telegraph operator for Great Northern Railway in 1952. After a couple of years, he studied for and eventually became a Freight Agent for Great Northern Railway which later merged with Burlington Northern Railroad. Roy retired from the Railroad in 1981. After retirement, he worked for 2 years as an Inspector for Transcontinental Freight Bureau in Seattle.
Roy was an active member of Northwest Baptist Church (Bellingham), Elim Baptist Church (Seattle) and the Columbia Baptist Conference. Through the years he also maintained his membership in the Telegraph Operators Association and he was an active LIONS club member. He frequently volunteered at the LIONS concession stands at sporting events and participated in eyeglass collection drives. His additional hobbies included lapidary (rock cutting and polishing) and reading Westerns and the Bible.
He was fun-loving, quick-witted, and always had a smile and a cup of coffee. He was recently described by his care-giver as a “gentle man”.
Roy is survived by his children: Susan Havlovick, Jerry (Kris Tack) Ely and Rex (Cynthia Leach) Ely; his 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Betty (2015), his parents Leo “Jerry” E. Ely (1967) and Jessie A. (Kennedy) Ely (1973) and his brother, William “Bill” R. Ely (1981).
He was loved and respected and will be missed by all who knew him. God bless your life in heaven.
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, July 16, 10:00am at Northwest Baptist Church, 3545 Northwest Ave, Bellingham.
- Date & Time: Jul 16, 2018 (No Time)
- Venue: Northwest Baptist Church
- Location: 3545 Northwest Ave Bellingham, WA 98226 - (Get Directions)