Obituary of Thomas Ely
Thomas Shockley Ely, Jr., 78, husband of Beverly Morris Ely and the son of the late Lucy Emma Scott Ely and Thomas Shockley Ely Sr. went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from his home in Clarksdale, Mississippi following a brief battle with cancer.
Thomas was also preceded in death by his brother, Robert McDonald (Mack) Ely.
He is survived by is wife of 53 years Beverly Morris Ely of Clarksdale; his daughter Sara Scottie Ely-Lawrence (Wes) of Clarksdale; his daughter Kelley Ely Poulk (Thomas) of Holly Springs, NC; brother Samuel Hubert Ely (Sherry) and sister Rachel Ely Winter (Wayne) all of Clarksdale. Thomas' favorite title in life was Papaw to his 7 grandchildren that adored him: Sara Shockley Lawrence, Meri Hollis Lawrence, Ely Katherine Lawrence and James Wesley Lawrence II; Ella Kaitlin Poulk, Sara Emelia Poulk and Eli Thomas Poulk.
Thomas was born January 2, 1939 in Greenwood, MS. He attended West Tallahatchie High School and North West Community College, prior to enlisting in the United States Army. Thomas served 2 years in the Army, stationed in Fulda, Germany. Thomas served in the 709th Military Police Battalion, Company B Fulda Detachment. He was decorated as an expert marksman with both .45 and M14 Rifle. Thomas was discharged as a SP4 in 1964.
Thomas joined the Clarksdale Fire Department in 1969 and retired after 26 years as Assistant Fire Chief. If he wasn't at the Fire Department, he was working a myriad of other jobs including E&B Carpet Service, Spivey's Interior Design, and became a staple figure at Ramon's Restaurant that he owned and operated for over 50 years.
Thomas didn't meet a stranger. He was loved by many and friends to all. His gift in life was the gift of kindness and humbleness. Thomas lived an ordinary life, yet touched so many people in the process. He brought joy and laughter to those around him, and would talk about those 7 grandchildren to anyone who would listen.
During his younger years, Thomas was a free spirit, modern day renegade – he spent time riding bulls and in the Rodeo in Texas. He was an avid music lover and followed the Red Tops to many of their performances. Thomas enjoyed traveling with his brother Mack all over the south – especially to Key West racing cars. Thomas was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He valued family, holidays and all events with his grandchildren; he loved gathering with family near and far.
Thomas will be greatly missed by his family – especially that bright smile and infectious laugh. While we grieve for his loss, we rest assured that he was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Visitation is Friday October 20, 2017, 10:00 - 11:00 A.M. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Clarksdale, MS. Funeral services are 11:00 A.M. Friday at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Clarksdale, MS with burial in the Oakridge Cemetery. Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale, MS is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital or charity of donor's choice.