Leonard Ely

Obituary of Leonard E. Ely

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Leonard Earl Ely was born on March 10, 1936, in Monroe, Michigan. He was one of seven children born from the union of Marion and Anne (Clouse) Ely. He graduated from Monroe High School with the class of 1954.

On August 22, 1959, Leonard married the love of his life, the former Lovelda Whiteaker. Together the happy couple was blessed with the birth of three sons. To provide for his family, Leonard was gainfully employed as an inspector through General Motors. He remained in this capacity for thirty-seven years.

Born during the tumultuous times of the depression, Leonard learned to adapt and thrive in various situations, ultimately evolving into a remarkable individual with a diverse range of interests. One of Leonard's greatest pleasures in life was nurturing his vegetable garden. He loved growing tomatoes, green beans, and green peppers, with green beans being his absolute favorite. Each year, he took great pride in canning the bountiful harvest, and this year alone, he canned an impressive forty-six jars.

Hunting served as another significant pastime for Leonard, strengthening his connection with the outdoors. He found joy in pursuing ducks, pheasants, and other small game locally and deer hunting in St. Helen, Michigan, where the Ely family had their annual tradition of gathering. When he wasn’t gardening or hunting, Leonard refused to let the grass grow under his feet. He filled his days with activities like playing euchre, golf, and ping pong.

Beyond the realms of outdoor pursuits, Leonard possessed exceptional woodworking skills that left others in awe. He deftly crafted beautiful handmade pieces, including tables, bookshelves, and end tables. However, what set Leonard apart was his generosity. He delighted in giving away these exquisite creations, sharing his talent and love with those around him. His selflessness and genuine care for others were evident in many acts of kindness. Even when his own health was declining, he regularly inquired about the well-being of those around him and offered prayers and support.

Leonard Earl Ely, age 87 of Monroe, passed away Friday October 13, 2023, at 9:15am at his home surrounded by family. In addition to his passing, he is preceded by his parents and four siblings: Leah Treece, Neil Ely, Bernard Ely, and Vivian Ely.

Left to cherish his memory, he leaves his wife Lovelda (Whitaker) Ely, three sons: Jeffery (Mary) Ely, Brian (Pam) Ely, Steven (Sherry) Ely, two brothers: Kenneth (Pauline) Ely, Jack Ely and six grandchildren: Daniel, Leah, Luke, Ciera, Jacob, and Andrew.

Friends may gather from 4:00pm until 8:00PM on Monday; October 16, 2023, at Merkle Funeral Service, South Monroe; 14567 South Dixie Highway, Monroe, Michigan 48161 (734) 241-7070. He will lie in state from 10:00am on Tuesday; October 17, 2023, until a Funeral Service Celebrating His Life at 11:00am at First Baptist Church; 1602 North Custer Road, Monroe, Michigan 48162. Reverend Kim H. Semran pastor of the church will officiate. A procession to Roselawn Memorial Park in LaSalle will take place immediately following the service.

Online guests may visit www.merklefs.com to leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo. Memorial donations may be made to: First Baptist Church of Monroe.