Harold D. Ely, 99, of Montrose, PA passed away, Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Gracious Living Estates Personal Care Home, Montrose, PA. Born September 30, 1918 in Brooklyn, PA, he was the son of the late Elwin B. and Agnes [Dutcher] Ely. He was predeceased by his wife Frances [Price] Ely in 2016.
Harold graduated from Brooklyn High School in 1936 and then attended Dallas Aviation School in Dallas, Texas. In June 1940 he married Frances Price. During World War II he worked at the Curtis-Wright Aircraft Plant in Buffalo, NY.
He and Frances returned to Susquehanna County and purchased a 160 acre farm at Heart Lake. Starting with a single cow that first year, the herd grew to 125 and the farm grew to 247 acres (plus an additional 250 acres rented) by the time he retired in 1982.
During those years Harold’s involvement in community and farming organizations grew as well. He was a Director of Dairylea Cooperative for seventeen years. He served in leadership roles in the Pa. Association of Farmer Cooperatives, Farm Bureau, and Council of Farm Organizations, just to name a few. He worked closely with the Susquehanna Co Extension Service, served 25 years with the Farm/City Feast Committee, was Master of the New Milford Grange and was a life-long volunteer and supporter of the Harford Fair.
He was president of the Montrose Rotary Club, was a Trustee at the Montrose United Methodist Church and served on the Board of Endless Mountains Health Systems. At the age of 92, he spearheaded the 1960 – 2010 History of Susquehanna County, a companion book to the Sesquicentennial History of the County.
Harold was known for his caring, helpful spirit. While on the farm he plowed neighborhood driveways every winter, pulled cars out of the mud and provided hay rides for the Heart Lake Association and Methodist Church youth groups. He and Frances hosted numerous exchange students and welcomed foster grand-children as family. He took great pleasure in delighting children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, by providing them with rides to the feed mill in the back of the truck, hanging swings in the highest trees and gassing up the ATVs and lawn tractor for their adventures on the farm. In his retirement years, he enjoyed changing old lawn chairs into macramé masterpieces. In just the two years he lived at Gracious Living he re-created nearly 50 chairs! As the last surviving family member of his generation, he enjoyed the special role he had in the lives of numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. He touched the lives of many, and he will be sorely missed.
Survivors include sons & daughters-in-law, Gerald & Carol Ely of Montrose, PA, Dwight & Laura Ely of Scarborough, ME, daughters & son-in-law, Carol Winkleblech of Montrose, PA, Elaine Ely of Quakertown, PA, Annette Waldie [ George Richmond] of Elkhorn, NB, 13 Grandchildren & Their Spouses, David & Pam Ely, Kristina Ely, Susan Ely, Benjamin & Lindsay Ely, Charles & Aimee Ely,, Jason Winkleblech, Meggan McGuire [Rodney Wheeler], Michael & Sharon Dickinson, Kate Dickinson, Elysa & Brian Dalbow, Weston Carpenter, Kyla Carpenter, Stephen & Casey Waldie, 20 Great Grandchildren, numerous nieces & nephews.
In addition to his wife and parents, a brother, Stuart Ely, a sister, Hazel Brainard and a son-in-law, Merle Winkleblech predeceased him.
Services: 11:00 am Saturday, April 7th at Montrose United Methodist Church, Montrose, PA .
Visitation: 6:00-8:00 PM on Friday, April 6th at the Bartron-Myer Funeral Home, Inc., Montrose, PA
and on Saturday from 10: AM until time of service at the church.
Instead of flowers: memorial contributions may be made to Endless Mountains Health Systems 100 Hospital Drive, Montrose, PA 18801or the Susquehanna County Library 458 High School Road, Montrose, PA 18801.