Eugene F. “Gene” Ely, age 90, died early Wednesday morning, July 13, 2011, at the Minneola District Hospital, Minneola, Kansas.
He was born May 13, 1921, at Moscow, Kansas, the son of Roy Razz and Ethel (Nimmo) Ely Harmon. As a young boy he attended school at Wilburton, later moving to Elkhart where he graduated from Elkhart High School. In 1942, he joined the United States Army Air Corps, serving as a belly gunner aboard a B-17 in Africa during World War II. In January, 1946, he was honorably discharged from active service. After his discharge he returned to Elkhart before moving to Fowler in 1948 where he made his home for many years. In 1983 he retired from the Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline as a plant foreman. Over the years he was also an active farmer.
He was a member of the Fowler United Methodist Church, American Legion, Odd Fellows, and the American Quarter Horse Association. He enjoyed rodeos, working with horses, traveling, goose hunting, car races, and spending time with his family and friends.
On December 27, 1941, he married Martha LaVern Strobel at Hugoton, Kansas. She precedes him in death on March 12, 2002.
He is survived by:
A daughter, Bonna Nichols and husband Gary of Beaver, Oklahoma
Seven grandchildren Eleven great-grandchildren Five great-great-grandchildren
He is preceded in death by his wife; a son, Donald Dean Ely on February 7, 1988; and his parents.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 18, 2011, at the Fowler United Methodist Church, Fowler, with the Reverend Dick Robbins presiding. Friends may call from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, at Fidler-Orme-Bachman Mortuary, Meade. Interment will follow in the Fowler Cemetery, Fowler, with military honors provided by the United States Air Force.
The family would welcome memorials to the Fowler United Methodist Church or the Fowler Residential Care Center in care of the funeral home.
Personal condolences may be given to the family at www.fidlerormebachmanmortuary.com