From the Office of Mayor John Hagan as read by the Mayor near the conclusion of Monday evening’s Borough Council Meeting:
It is appropriate that on this day commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. with the overwhelming theme of service we take time to bid adieu to our Beverly Ely. We read the announcement as it was posted on the Wilde Funeral Home website. We all knew Bev had been coping with health issues for a while. Still we felt a stuttered gasp when we heard the news.
Beverly Ely as was written, passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at the Brandywine Hospital. She was the beloved wife of Lester D. Ely, Jr. with whom she shared 44 years of marriage. Born in Parkesburg, she was the daughter of the late Harold William and Catherine Softchin Ogden.
Bev was a resident of Parkesburg most of her life and a 1953 graduate of the Scott High School. She proudly served in the US Air Force from 1954 to 1956. She was a member of the Parkesburg Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Life Member of the Parkesburg Fire Company and a former member of the Parkesburg Borough Council.
Beverly loved her community and all those that she came in contact with. She will be missed by all that knew her.
She is survived, in addition to her husband, by three children; Rick Ely and wife Dottie of Gap, Kimberly A. Catale of Orange, CA and Patrick J. Ely and wife Leslie of Parkesburg, six grandchildren, two great grandchildren and one brother William Ogden of Coatesville.
In closing the announcement we are encouraged to donate to a charity of our choice. Typical of Bev and her family there is no mention as to what,or suggestion to commemorate in her honor, just do it. Long before Nike stole that byline from her, I had heard it repeatedly.
Beverly did not suffer inaction well.
No matter your role be that elected to or employed by the borough accountable you were for what you do but more importantly for what you do not. Better you try and fail than be idle.
On several occasions she would bring before the council issues, some with which she had personal experience- some brought to her as she held court there on First Avenue. Perhaps as she sipped her beverage as Carmen’s in the past or Seawell’s more recently. Her “constituents” would bring her information and concerns they were confident she would bring before the council, with or without them.
Seated there- right in front, waiting, not always so patiently, her opportunity to state the case or cases-urgent and sometimes passionately- she would not be ignored. Rules of decorum always in place, you knew and understood even if you disagreed, the issue and the concern.
Every once in a while, perhaps all too infrequently, you have the pleasure of sharing time with the likes of Beverly Ely.
As we bid say goodbye to our hometown girl, we should all-
Serve as she did.
Love as she did.
And, remember- if you say you will- hushed or aloud-remember….
“Then, dammit you guys, just do it.”
Thank you Beverly, I will miss you.
(The picture of Bev Ely at the top of the post was taken at Parkesburg’s 140th Birthday Celebration in July 2012.)