BUCKINGHAM, PENNSYLVANIA - Thomas Hayes Ely of Buckingham, Pa., passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at his home. He was 68. He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Joan Miller Ely. He has lived in Buckingham for nearly 40 years.
A resident of Bucks County for most of his life, he grew up in Levittown, Pa., the eldest son of the late William C. Ely, Jr. and the late Elizabeth Hayes Ely. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, served in Vietnam, and gained a trade as a truck mechanic. He worked for PECO for 30 years, Eastern Lift for 10 years, and ran his own rototilling business.
His rough exterior covered a kind and generous heart. He was a dedicated civic volunteer as a life member of Central Bucks EMS and a former captain of the Levittown-Fairless Hills Rescue Squad, serving as an EMT, driver, and maintenance volunteer with both squads. He was honored as the Burpee Distinguished EMS Volunteer of the Year. He was also an Eagle Scout, Order of the Arrow, and a former Boy Scout leader both in Lower Bucks and during his Army service.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Chris, Megan (Stephen), Annmarie; sisters Patricia Heller (Paul); Nancy Hall (Dale); Sue Dougherty (Tom); Kathy Dennis; brothers Jim (Marie) and the Rev. John (Therese); a cherished granddaughter Maya; his aunt Dorothy Johnson (James); 22 nieces and nephews, as well as 17 great nieces and nephews; and his cousins. He leaves behind many loving friends including lifetime mentor Art Small, his Central Bucks Ambulance squad family and his close-knit group of neighbors.
Services will be Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Doylestown United Methodist Church, 320 East Swamp Road, Doylestown, PA 18901. Family gathering will be 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Memorial service will be 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. Luncheon to follow in Overholt Hall at the church.
Interment will be Monday, February 2, 2015, at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940, promptly at 11:15 a.m. with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest donations to Doylestown United Methodist Church; Travis Manion Foundation, 164 E. State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901; or Central Bucks EMS, 455 East Street, Doylestown, PA 18902-6503.
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com