Doris Ruth Ely
Doris Ruth Ely
  • May 4, 1917 - September 28, 2017
  • Harrisonburg, Virginia

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Harrisonburg, VA 22801
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Doris Ruth Ely (nee Steiner), age 100, of Harrisonburg, VA departed this life on 9/28/2017. Born in Wayne County, OH on May 4, 1917 to Dr. Ernest E. & Anna Steiner (nee Kroeger), she grew up in Cleveland, OH where she graduated from Fairview Park High School in 1935. She received her BA from Wooster College in 1939 with majors in both French and English and a minor in Latin. She started her MA in English at Ohio State University in the summer 1941. While at OSU she met her husband to be, the only love of her life, George Leonard Ely, whom she married on May 17, 1942. They shared 38 years of life together and were blessed with four beloved children.

Doris' teaching career (English, French, & Latin) spanned 4 decades. She started teaching in Strongsville, OH, continued teaching and raised her family in Gallipolis, OH where her husband practiced large & small animal Veterinary Medicine, then moved to and continued teaching in Cincinnati where her husband was a USDA Veterinary Meat Inspector. She finished her teaching career here at Turner Ashby in Harrisonburg, VA, where her husband was a USDA Veterinary Poultry Inspector. Retiring from teaching in 1981, she always enjoyed traveling around the valley where she might encounter former students whose lives she had touched.

She was an active member of Otterbein United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg and leaves behind many dear friends in the church community. She greatly enjoyed singing in the church choir and playing the hand bells. In past years she thoroughly enjoyed working on mission trips with her church group to villages in the Mexico City area.

Traveling was a passion she and her husband shared and one that they cultivated in their children. She had golden memories made with family and friends across our beautiful country: New England, the Appalachians, the desert southwest, the Colorado Rockies, the Northern Rockies (Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, the Tetons), the Sierras, the Cascades, Alaska and Hawaii. Her international travel experiences were dear to her: Quebec, the Canadian Rockies, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, Austria, Germany (Passion play at Oberammergau), and her favorite, perhaps because they correctly pronounced her name, Ely Cathedral near Cambridge, England.

She was preceded in death by her first born (infant) child, Sarah Ruth Ely, her brothers, Paul and Kenneth Steiner, and by her beloved husband George. She is survived by her three remaining children: Laura Ruth (Ely) Headlee of Broadway, VA, Mary Elizabeth (Ely) Griffith of Harrisonburg (who has sacrificed family and friends to live with and care for her over the last many years), and George Leonard Ely of Cincinnati, OH. She is also survived by 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 5:30pm until 8:00pm on Tuesday, Oct. 3rd at Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Oct. 4th at 11:00 am at Otterbein United Methodist Church with Rev. Adam Blagg officiating. Burial will follow in Woodbine Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Otterbein United Methodist Church, 176 W. Market St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

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