Ferrell Sylvan Ely obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Ferrell Sylvan Ely

March 19, 1939 - October 10, 2016

Obituary


Ferrell Sylvan Ely was born March 19, 1939, in Centralia, Wash. He passed away Oct. 10, 2016.
He loved his family and is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy; eldest son, Paul Ely and his wife, Nikki; granddaughter, Alyssa; grandson, Blake; and youngest son, Scott and his wife, Tiffani. He is also survived by his sisters, Shirley Chappell (Ron) and Linda Ely; brothers, John Wright (Sharon) and Bob Wright; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Ferrell graduated from Centralia High School in 1958, before joining the United States Navy. He served as a...

Ferrell Sylvan Ely was born March 19, 1939, in Centralia, Wash. He passed away Oct. 10, 2016.
He loved his family and is survived by his wife of 50 years, Nancy; eldest son, Paul Ely and his wife, Nikki; granddaughter, Alyssa; grandson, Blake; and youngest son, Scott and his wife, Tiffani. He is also survived by his sisters, Shirley Chappell (Ron) and Linda Ely; brothers, John Wright (Sharon) and Bob Wright; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Ferrell graduated from Centralia High School in 1958, before joining the United States Navy. He served as a cook on the USS Hopewell (DD-681), a Fletcher-class destroyer, until 1960, keeping hungry sailors fed with classic fare.
After his military service, Ferrell went to Centralia College, graduating with an associates of arts in 1962, and then received a bachelors of arts in Industrial Arts from Western Washington University in 1964. He eventually received his teaching degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1968.
He met his wife, Nancy while at Western and they married at the Episcopal Church in Renton, Wash., in 1966. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.
Ever the hard worker, Ferrell continued working while enrolled in school. He delivered shavings from various hardwood mills around Lewis County with his Dad, Sylvan and cooked on the 500-passenger vessel, MV Matanuska, on the Alaskan Marine Highway, where he invented the "Classic Alaskan Sourdough Biscuit".
After graduating from Pacific Lutheran University, he found a teaching job in the Centralia School District as the industrial arts instructor, teaching wood shop and drafting. On the side, he coached track and could be a formidable sprinter himself, usually beating students that were challenging him to race. Teaching turned out to be his primary career and he eventually retired in 1996, after 27 years of service. "Mr. Ely" always made an impression on his students with his keen sense of humor and high standards.
Ferrell always had a passion for his yard, (a small orchard) and garden. Not one for idleness, he made sure he had a second occupation after teaching. He became known as the "Orchid Man", at one point tending over 5,000 plants. He was constantly puttering around on his John Deere mower, weeding the flower beds, watering his beloved plants or running orchids up to the Olympia Farmers Market to sell, or delivering to his clients.
Throughout his life, he also loved fishing, spending time with his family and coaching his sons' youth sports. He deeply loved his grandchildren and he enjoyed going to their sporting and equestrian events, often talking to his friends about their accomplishments. To support his community, he was a Freemason and was active in the Lewis County Shrine. He also participated in the ELK's Club and the Olympia Orchid Society for many years.
He had a great sense of humor and loved talking to people about politics, telling jokes, stories, or giving you his opinion on just about anything, (especially why you shouldn't vote for democrats). You could often find him in the morning at Judy's Restaurant or Country Cousins, or at the Lucky Eagle Casino playing craps and pai gow poker. He also loved to travel, having completed various cruises around the world from Asia to South America with his wife and the Wright family.
He was immensely loved and his presence will be missed by family and friends.
A funeral will be held Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, at 12 p.m., at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1209 Scheuber Rd. N, Centralia, WA 98531. A graveside service will follow at Claquato Cemetery, 142 Stearns Rd., Chehalis, WA 98532. A celebration of life and reception will also be at Immanuel Lutheran Church, following the graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Shriners Hospitals for Children (www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/donate), or a charity of your choice.