Claude A. ELEY
{ "" }
Share Claude's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
NEWPORT NEWS - Claude Alva Eley died April 17, 2012.
He was born in Portsmouth, Va., on May 17, 1919, the youngest child of Edward E. and Olivia Hart Eley but spent most of his life as a resident of Newport News. One of his fondest memories as a child was serving as a caddy at the Camp Stuart golf course, predecessor to the James River Country Club. It was during those days that he became a lifelong lover of the sport.
Claude graduated from Newport News High School in 1936 and then the Apprentice School, where he was co-captain of the A-School Golf Team and president of the school's Monogram Club. During Word World II he served in Merchant Marines, primarily in the Mediterranean and South Pacific.
Following the war he returned to Newport News and was hired as a salesman for the Sherwin-Williams Co. In 1951, he resigned as a regional sales manager and returned to Newport News and opened Eley's Paint and Wallpaper Company. He retired as president of Eley's Inc. in 1985. He was an active member of the Original Club and later of Kiwanis. He served as president of the Newport News Kiwanis Club in 1968. He served on the Board of Governors of the National Decorating Products Association, as president of the Williamsburg Country Club, and was an active member of the James River Country Club.
Claude was preceded in death by his parents, his four brothers and two sisters, and his first wife, Doris Cope Eley.
He was a devoted husband, father, stepfather and uncle. He is survived by his loving wife, traveling companion and dedicated caregiver, Mary (Mickey); his sons, Chuck Eley (Kathleen Evans), of Smithfield, and Jeff Eley, of Savannah, Ga.; his grandson, Todd Eley, of Hampton; four step-daughters, Deidere Dudley, Denise Peck, Daren Breed, and Dawn Archer, their families; and four nieces and three nephews.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Peninsula Funeral Home, officiated by the Rev. Bill Lamont. Burial will follow at Peninsula Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the residence in Walnut Grove immediately following.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Press from Apr. 19 to Apr. 21, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
14 entries
April 30, 2012
Dear Chuck and Jeff, I just loved your Dad and certainly enjoyed him over the years. He was always so much fun and I know that he will be missed. Many thoughts and prayers coming to you both. God bless...
Steph Steinbach Downer
April 25, 2012
Chuck and Jeff,

I was so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. My thougts and prayers are with both of you .

Sherri Link Lovell
April 23, 2012
Chuck , I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dear Dad God bless. I will keep you in my prayers.Love JoanFuller
JOAN Traynham
April 21, 2012
I'm so sorry for your loss, Chuck. Whenever I went to your dad's store (the other Harriet used to frame all my artwork back in the day) I could always count on a hearty welcome with a great big smile from your dad. My sympathy, thoughts and prayers are with you, Jeff, and the whole family.
Harriet Heldenfels Yake
April 21, 2012
I'm sorry to hear about your father. Keep the memories close. God Bless.
Brian Hogge
April 20, 2012
hi mickey, sorry to hear of Claudes passing. remember the laughs we all had at GSH. Claude was always a gentleman and fun to be around. Glad the two of you had some happy years together.You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, Take care, Helen(Edwards)Earehart.
April 20, 2012
Dear Chuck & family,
Please accept my sincere condolences. I will always fondly remember the advice and helpful hints your father provided when we were renovating our first home down in the North End so many years ago.
Warmest regards, Mark
Mark Ailsworth
April 19, 2012
Tom's and my thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family. May your memories of happier times carry you through now and forever. With our deepest sympathy, Barb
Barbara Powers
April 19, 2012
Hello, Jeff, I am so sorry to hear about your father's death. I did not know about his great love for golf, guess I should have known that. I've been thinking about you and our early years playing in the woods between our houses. Wishing you comfort and peace, Virginia
Virginia Gardner
April 19, 2012
Chuck and Jeff, So sorry to hear about your father's death. I always found his happy smile and pleasant demeanor to be endearing. My Dad died about four years ago, so I know what you're going through. May the Lord comfort you during this time. All the Best, J.W.
J.W. Hornsby
April 19, 2012
Chuck - Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. God Bless.
Paige Stallard Taylor
April 19, 2012
Jeff and Chuck, I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jan Murphy Lorenz, Washington, DC
April 19, 2012
To Mr.Eley's family, Chuck we are so sadden to hear about your Dad.He was a GREAT GUY! I know he will be missed by so many,our prayers go out to you and the family.GOD SPEED.
David / Debbie Lloyd
April 19, 2012
Although I can't be with you while you remember your loved one, you're in my thoughts from afar.
Ray Evans
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences