Thomas Ely

Thomas Harold Ely of Fort Collins passed away on October 2, 2013. He was born in St. Charles, Virginia, on August 21, 1934 to Thomas M. and Josephine (Lee) Ely, and was the youngest of eleven children. He graduated from St. Charles High School in 1952. He joined the Army Reserve 446th Quartermaster Corp in April 1954 and was honorably discharged in November 1962. Thomas married Patricia G. Vaccaro, on February 9, 1963 in Pleasantville, NY. Together they lived in Virginia, California, New York and Japan before finally settling in Colorado in 1966. They were married for 44 years before Patricia passed away. He attended an electronics apprenticeship with the US Navy at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, VA. After the apprenticeship he worked for Philco at Turner AFB in Albany, GA. After leaving Philco, he worked for General Precision Laboratories, with assignments at Lockheed Aircraft, Grumman Aircraft, March AFB and Yokota AFB in Japan. He spent 30 years working at Hewlett Packard in Loveland, retiring in 1996. While working there his capacities were technical writer, technical publications manager, marketing and R&D lab. In his younger years, he enjoyed big game hunting, fly fishing, rock collecting and golf. He had a lifelong interest in gardening, photography, wood working and was always tinkering with something. He always enjoyed being in the mountains, and 1977 Tom and Pat purchased land in Red Feather Lakes, CO. They spent the next 10 years building a family cabin from the ground up by his own two hands with the help of his family. He was a HAM radio operator and an avid member of the NRA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Josephine, his wife, Patricia; his siblings, Myrtle Henderson, Dorothy House, Rufus Ely, Beulah Walsh, Eugene Ely, Thelma Kreis, Glen Ely, Faustena Norwood; granddaughter, Kennedy G. Buhler; and great-granddaughter, Isabelle Ely. He is survived by his siblings, Gladys Fitzgerald, Milfred Ely; daughter, Colette P. Buhler, husband Scott, of Fort Collins; sons, Craig T. Ely, wife Sharmon, of Loveland, Rex F. Ely, wife Barbara, of Clarksville, TN, and Thomas H. Ely, Jr. of Level Plains, AL; grandchildren, Payton, Shelby and Avery Buhler, Dakota, Denley and Dustyn Ely, Rex Ely, wife, Kayla, and Emma Ely; great-granddaughter, Sophia; and his Yorkshire terrier and best friend, Marcus. Memorial Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Resthaven Funeral Home. A reception will follow in the Resthaven Reception Center. Private Family Inurnment at Resthaven Memory Gardens. Memorial contributions can be made to Pathways Hospice in care of Resthaven Funeral Home, 8426 S Hwy 287, Fort Collins, CO 80525. Family and friends may view the online obituary and sign the guestbook at

Funeral Home

Resthaven Funeral Home
8426 S. Hwy. 287 Fort Collins, CO 80525

Published in Loveland Reporter-Herald on Oct. 8, 2013