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Robert G. ELY

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ELY, Robert G.

Robert G. Ely of Rollingwood, Texas was born on February 20, 1924 in Anson, Jones County, Texas to Alfred Lee and Lillian Highsmith Ely and died on October 20, 2013 at home at the age of 89. He is predeceased by his sisters Mary Kathryn Ely, Mildred Ely, and Dorothy Ely Jordan.

Bob entered the Army Air Corps in February of 1943. As an engineer/gunner on a B24 Liberator, he was involved in a crash at Muroc Army Airfield on April 17, 1944. The injuries he sustained in the crash required him to be hospitalized for several years. During his hospitalizations, he began pursuing his bachelor's degree at the Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy in El Paso and City College of San Francisco. He completed his studies and received his degree of Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas in 1951. He worked in the precast concrete (not cement) industry in Austin from 1951 to 1976, then with private consultants until he retired in 1995.

In 1959, in the newly created City of Rollingwood, Bob designed and built the house he was to live in for the rest of his life. He spent a good part of his life contributing to the city he chose as his home, including several terms on the city council and later serving as the Grand Marshall of the Fourth of July Parade in 2012 as the oldest resident of the city.

Bob met Marjorie Gummelt in 1961 through the Ionians, a singles organization. Bob and Marjorie (Marge) took dance lessons together at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and they began dating because they knew the same steps. Bob proposed marriage on Valentine's Day of 1963 and they were married on May 18 of that year at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hallettsville, Texas.

Bob was a lover of classical music from very early on in life; his third grade teacher, Miss Castles, introduced him to music with her own portable phonograph. An avid concertgoer, he attended performances by many of the world's renowned symphony orchestra conductors and soloists, including Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Arthur Rubinstein, Yehudi Menuhin, and Sir Gregor Piatigorsky. He was a patron of the Austin Symphony Orchestra for over sixty years, and of course was the proudest audience member at any performance involving his children.

He is survived by Marge, his wife of fifty years, children Susan Ely McCormick, Joan Ely Carlson, and Glenn Douglas Ely, and seven grandchildren: Charles Ely McCormick, Erin Marie McCormick, Nicholas James McCormick, Joyce Kelly McCormick, Emily Susan McCormick, Emma Ruth Carlson, and Clara Jane Carlson.

The family would like to thank Griswold Home Health Care and especially Eric Pumphrey for the exceptional care extended during Bob's last months.

Following cremation, there will be a memorial service at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 3525 Bee Cave Road, on Saturday, November 2, at 2:00 p.m. A reception at the church will follow.

Contributions in Bob's memory may be made to Classical 89.5 KMFA, 3001 N. Lamar, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78705, or to the Austin Symphony Orchestra, 1101 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2013
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