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Mr. James Carlton Ely Sr., age 96 of Soperton passed away on Wednesday evening, March 10, 2021 under the care of Community Hospice in Vidalia.

Born in Johnson County, he was the second oldest and last living of seven children born to the late Henry Lee and Lilly Mae Johnson Ely.  His family moved about the area during his childhood with his father’s work.  At a very early age, as most farming families, he started working with the adults.   His first employment was at the Adrian Saw Mill before being offered a job with Ivey Wilson as a Mechanic at the Service Station.  In the 1960s he joined Adrian Housing as a Mechanic where he worked for over 35 years until retiring in the late 1990s.  Although not formally educated; he was a mechanical and engineering genius.  He gained his knowledge of common sense from years of having to find ways to make things work with what he had available.  He loved to work and oftentimes would work on family and friend’s cars and equipment late into the night to get them back on the road or the equipment back in the field. 

The Ely family were longtime members at the Blackville Church of God; dating back to the original church at the intersection of Highways 15 and 86.  Mr. Ely was a Deacon at Blackville and for many years played his guitar at the church.  He enjoyed Bluegrass and Southern Gospel music, joking with kids and could be found with children crawling up in his lap wherever he went.  After raising his sons he enjoyed traveling to watch them play in Adult Softball League games.  An avid fan of NASCAR; for several years he would make the annual trek to Daytona to cheer for the Richard Petty and Kyle Bush teams.

In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his wife of forty eight years, Mavel Dean Dickens Ely, his siblings, Ruby Cannady, H. B. Ely, Barnett Ely, Jimmy Ely, Doris Thigpen and Leland Ely.

Mr. Ely leaves behind his sons, Carlton Ely (Connie), Bruce Ely, all of Soperton, two grandchildren, Kimberly Ely, Soperton, GA, Kenneth Ely (Brandy), Dublin, GA, four great grandchildren, Gage Mitchell, Charlee Ely, Cole Mitchell, Jonah Ely and numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at Blackville Church of God with Pastor Kip Boswell and Pastor Gordon Statum officiating. 

Mr. Ely will be laid to rest beside his wife at Harmony Baptist Cemetery.

His family will receive friends on Sunday, at the church, from 1:00 pm until the hour of service.

Please share a memory, leave a condolence message and sign the online guest register at www.sammonsfuneralhome.com

SAMMONS FUNERAL HOME, The Tradition Since 1917, Soperton, Georgia


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