Raymond Leon Ely, 70, of Stillwater, passed from this life on Oct. 24, 2013. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home and a service celebrating his remarkable life will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sunnybrook Christian Church in Stillwater with burial following at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday with the family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday evening.
Raymond Leon Ely was born on Oct. 14, 1943, in Stillwater, to Ivo Andrew and Mary Bessie (Nottingham) Ely. He attended grade school in Perkins before transferring to Stillwater for his middle and high school years. Raymond began working at Thomas Ford at the age of 16 and he worked there for more than four years. During high school, he was a founding member of the International Trumpet Trio, a musical group consisting of three students with diverse cultural backgrounds. In 1961, Raymond graduated from C.E. Donart High School and enrolled at Oklahoma State University where he played in the Cowboy Marching Band. In 1964, Raymond met Anna Derr and after dating for only two weeks, Anna and Raymond were married. Raymond and Anna spent 49 wonderful years by each other’s side and had two beautiful daughters, Anita and Radawn. In 1964, he also went to work for Gold Spot Dairy as a milk delivery driver and in 1966 Raymond purchased a service station at 6th & West in Stillwater.
Raymond began applying to the Stillwater Police Department shortly after high school and in 1967 he was selected by the department to be the youngest officer ever to serve on the streets of Stillwater. In 1976, he became the first SPD officer to attend and graduate from the FBI National Academy. In 1987, Raymond Ely retired from the SPD as a captain. Raymond enjoyed retirement for a couple of years before accepting a position in the special assets dept of Stillwater National Bank. In 2010, Raymond transitioned into the security dept at SNB, where he worked until his passing.
Raymond was an active member of the Stillwater Fraternal Order of Police, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Stillwater Breakfast Kiwanas. He was a talented woodworker who made many toys for his kids and grandkids. Raymond enjoyed doing yard work, coaching his girls’ softball team and spoiling his grandchildren. He was known to have great taste in women’s clothes and enjoyed taking his wife, daughters and granddaughters clothes shopping.
Raymond Ely was a great father who was very proud of his family. He had a passion for law enforcement and never missed an opportunity to serve his community. He loved the people of Stillwater, the SPD and his co-workers at SNB. He was a practical joker who loved to tease his family and friends. He told, quite possibly, the worst jokes in the world, but his smile and laugh still lit up any room. Raymond was a loyal husband, a devoted father, a loving grandfather and a dedicated police officer. His legacy of kindness and compassion will live on through the lives of his family as well as through the continued service of his fellow law enforcement brothers. He will be missed by many.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Anna, of the home; two daughters, Anita Waddell and husband, John, of Doha, Qatar, and Radawn Balthrop, of Gainsville, Texas. Three grandchildren, William Waddell, Sam Waddell, and Rawlei Balthrop.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Raymond’s name to the Stillwater United Way in care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home, 5106 N. Washington, Stillwater, OK 74075
Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at www.pmcfh.com.