WILLIAM DOUGLAS ELY William Douglas Ely ("Doug"), of Las Vegas, passed away at age 81 on Monday, February 22, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Reno, Nevada his family moved to Las Vegas where he would spend the rest of his life. He attended Fifth Street Grammar School, Las Vegas High School and Nevada Southern University. Following graduation, Doug enlisted in the US Navy for a two-year term in the South Pacific as a Seabee, followed by 2 years of active duty. He was proud to serve his country and would often reminisce of his travels and experience while in the Navy. Doug met the love of his life, Helen Gentry, while attending a dance at the Nevada Southern. On completing his tour of duty and returning to Las Vegas, they were married at the Little Church of the West in March of 1964. During their 56-year marriage they had three daughters, two grandsons and two granddaughters. Doug began a long career in architecture and civil engineering, first working on various projects at The Nevada Test Site. He was involved in the design of the original MGM Grand and Aladdin Hotels, the Jockey Club and Stratosphere Tower. He later became involved in roadway design projects in the Las Vegas Valley including the first design of the I-15 Hacienda bridge, as well as the design of I-215 Beltway bridges. He subsequently was involved in the design of the I-15 South Design project, the Boulder City Bypass project, and Project Neon. Doug loved his profession and found great satisfaction from his work. He was highly regarded among his peers for his sharp intellect, camaraderie and work ethic. Doug was, first and foremost, a family man. He loved his wife, Helen and was totally devoted to her. They raised three daughters, Leslie, Natalie and Patricia. He always made time for his family, and was there for them day and night. He would never say no to any of them, whether it be babysitting, home improvement projects, homework, shopping, extra-long phone conversations, or just time playing a game. People of all ages were drawn to him due to his fun-loving personality and passion for life. Doug had a great laugh and was an amazing storyteller having plenty to share particularly when it came to old Las Vegas. He loved fishing and made more than a few trips to Alaska with family and friends. One of his favorite fishing spots was Duck Creek, Utah where he and his grandsons shared many good times together. Doug was a fantastic cook and particularly known for his spaghetti and Italian sausage as well his outdoor grilling skills, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. He was a passionate dog lover and there was never a time when he didn't have a furry friend in his life. He was actively involved in his community, and while serving as President of the West Charleston Lions Club, he took pride in helping burn victims with generous donations to UMC Lions Burn Care Center. He donated countless hours through his years of service on the Board of Directors of The Lakes, Sun City Summerlin, and most recently serving Rhodes Ranch HOA's ARC committee. Doug's friendship was something to be cherished and will continue in the hearts of everyone he touched. He is survived by his wife Helen, three daughters; Leslie (William) Bilotta, Natalie Stevenson, and Patricia (Josh) Earley; Two grandsons, Blake Rawlings and Michael Stevenson; and two granddaughters, Aubrey and Brooke Earley. The Broken Chain We little knew that day, God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly, In death, we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you. You did not go alone. For part of us went with you, The day God called you home. You left us beautiful memories, Your love is still our guide. And although we cannot see you, You are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, And nothing seems the same, But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.

Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Mar. 21, 2021.
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13 Entries
Some of the sparkle in life went out when Doug passed away. My love to you all.
Darlene Wheasler
April 16, 2021
Gracie Auteri
April 5, 2021
My deepest condolences to Helen and the family. Doug was a great friend and mentor in everyday life and as I was staring out in my engineering career. We worked together for several years. Wonderful memories!
Arvid Handegard
April 2, 2021
I will always cherish everything you taught me old man! We love and miss you and will think of you always.
Angus Anderson
March 22, 2021
Helen: My deepest sympathy on the passing of Doug. He was a good friend and neighbor and I will miss him. He adored his family and his country. He would do anything for his family and friends. Will miss our political discussions and margaritas. Until the next time, rest in peace Doug.
Sandy Krause
March 22, 2021
So sorry for your loss. I only met him twice but what an impression he made!!!! Love, blessings, light to all.
Mia Alfonso
March 22, 2021
March 21, 2021
I knew Dough from 5th Street Grammar (he was good in sports). I believe we both attended West Charleston Grammar in the 8th Grade, since Doug ^ think lived on Hastings Avenue. After we both graduated from LVHS IN 1958 WE WENT OUR SEPARATE WAYS...SAW HIM OCCASIONALLY BEFORE MOVING TO RENO PERMANENTLY IN 1982. HE ATTENDED A FEW LVHS REUNIONS. He was emenantly a fair, moral individual. [email protected]
Stanley Paher
March 21, 2021
Doug and I had been friends since the fourth grade at Fifth Street GS, then on to West Charleston GS, and LVHS. We both served in the Lions Club together. He was a good and loyal friend. Doug designed and built my commercial building that helped secure my business. We always had a great time together. My condolences to Helen and family, he will be missed. God bless you all.
John Brower
March 21, 2021
Doug was an incredible person. I am very grateful to have known and worked with him. Great spirit, always made you feel good, great advice he gave and great stories he told! Always fun to be around. Everyone knew his love for his family was far more than anything else especially his love for Helen. May the family find comfort in knowing how deeply he will be missed and the lives he has touched. He was a great man!
Gerald Gunny
March 21, 2021
I have known Doug my whole life and he was one of the most wonderful human beings on this earth. It would be a perfect world if we were all like Doug . I was lucky to have him in my life. You felt his positive spirit and kind heart when ever you were in his presence. I will miss him forever.
Darcy Trader
March 21, 2021
My condolences Helen. Doug and I went to school together and in the Navy Reserve Seabees we went to Camp Pendleton for 2 weeks trying together and he drew up the plans for my house and did a great job. I thought about him many times while walking around the house.
Ron Newell
March 21, 2021
Throughout the years, I was thinking of you and the great times we had together. RIP my friend.
Bob Richardson
March 21, 2021
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