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Charles "Chuck" Ely

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HOOSICK, N.Y. - Charles “Chuck” Ely, 65, a well-known resident of Hoosick, died peacefully Tuesday, July 15 at the family camp in Port Henry, N.Y. He resided on Route 7 in the Town of Hoosick with his wife JoAnn (Jelly) Ely.

He was born Dec. 5, 1937, in Bennington, Vt., son of George A. and Phyllis (Cantello) Ely. He was educated at schools in the Hoosick area, graduating from Hoosick Falls High School in 1956.

For three decades Chuck drove stock cars all over the Northeast and Canada, and the last ten years with the Tremont #115. He was a very popular fixture at Lebanon Valley, Albany-Saratoga, and Devils Bowl Speedways. Known as “Chargin’ Charlie” at local racetracks, Chuck accumulated well over 100 feature event wins, as well as several track championships at all three tracks. His accomplishments on the racetrack earned him a place in the Lebanon Valley speedway Hall of Fame and the N.Y.S.S.C.A. Hall of Fame.

Chuck as a truckdriver most of his adult life, and retired from Johnson Control in Bennington after 20 years of service.

Over the years Chuck and his wife JoAnn operated several businesses in the area. In the early 1970s Chuck owned the first Arctic Cat Snowmobile Dealership. He and his wife also raced their sleds to numerous feature wins in the Northeast.

Chuck and his family owned and operated the Wayside Restaurant in Hoosick and later the Country Plus Restaurant & Lounge in Pittstown, N.Y.

Chuck was an avid outdoorsman and had several interesting hobbies which included Leather making, sign painting and building and flying R.C. airplanes. He also retained his pilot’s license and flew his own piper cubs. Chuck enjoyed building and fabricating racecars and played an active role in his sons Bob and Don, racing careers.

Chuck also had a passion for horses and was a big supporter in his daughter Stacey’s successful riding career. Photography was one of his favorite hobbies and was Lebanon Valley Speedway’s track photographer for over 20 years.

Survivors other than his wife JoAnn include a daughter, Stacey L. Pratt and her husband Bruce; four sons, Donald J. Ely of Bennington, Robert A. Ely of Hoosick, Charles H. Ely of Pownal, and Timothy T.S. Ely of Hoosick; 11 grandchildren; three great brothers, George Ely of Fairbanks, Alaska, Walter Ely of Hopewell, Va. and William Ely of Hoosick; a sister, Mary E. Hagadorn of Hoosick, also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be Friday, July 18 at 10 a.m. from the Mahar Funeral Home, 43 Main Street in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. Burial will follow the service at Hoosick Rural Cemetery in Hoosick, N.Y.

Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.
Published in Bennington Banner on July 17, 2003
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