Rodney Ely

Rodney ElyRodney Ely, 76, of Fayette, died early Thursday morning, May 12, 2016, at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Toledo. He was born October 24, 1939, in Morenci, MI, a son of the late Francis “Spike” and Elsie (Morley) Ely. Rod married the love of his life, Shirley Ann (Wentz) Bernath, on August 19, 1978, at their home in Fayette, and she preceded him in death on December 17, 2011.

Rod graduated from Morenci High School Class of 1958, and was employed by TRW in Fayette until his retirement. In his retirement he worked at Sauder Woodworking. He is remembered by his family for his treasured pastimes of fishing, hunting, camping, and making wine. He was a member of the Medina Federated Church, where he enjoyed attending Bible study.

Surviving are his children, Steve (Debbie) Bernath of Vista, CA, Ronnie Bernath of Montpelier, OH, Julie (Mitch) Garrow of Wauseon, OH, Sandy Bernath (and Rhonda Jo) of Montpelier, Penny (Dean) Oswald of Lambertville, MI, Debbie Naylor of Holland, OH, David (Marla) Ely of Elkhart, IN, Alan (Angela) Ely of Hillsdale, MI, Pattie (Keith) Spence of Hillsdale, Connie (Ed) Chapin of Osseo, MI, and JoAnne (Keene) Tran of Hillsdale; four brothers, Joseph (Kathy) Ely of Hudson, MI, Larry (Anna Mae) Ely of Morenci, Francis (Sharon) Ely of Brooklyn, MI, and Bill (Jennifer) of Addison, MI; a daughter-in-law, Janet Ely of Reading, MI; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and his beloved canine companion, Snickers.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Rodney Ely Jr; a brother Rex in infancy; and three grandchildren, Jessie Tran, Brandin Kramer, and Damien Bernath.

A funeral service for Rodney will be held Monday, May 16, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., at the Eagle Funeral Home in Fayette with Pastor Darren Lemmon officiating. Burial will follow in the Porter-Packard Cemetery near Seneca, MI. The family will receive friends for visitation on Sunday, from 2-6 p.m.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may consider memorial donations in honor of Rod to Medina Federated Church. Friends can share memories and words of comfort with the family online at

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