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Coach Ron Ely
August 31, 1938 ~ November 15, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Carl Ronald Ely, “Coach Ely,” died peacefully at Manor Lake Assisted Living Facility in Gainesville, Georgia on November 15, 2023 at the age of 85. Coach Ely was born in Pennington Gap, Virginia to Carl and Shirley Ely. Coach was an accomplished basketball and baseball player at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, Tennessee where he met his wife of 65 years, Suzie Wilson Ely. He began his coaching career at Tyner Junior High School, Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1960. He then moved to high schools in Blue Ridge, Georgia and Sylva, North Carolina. His greatest
accomplishments occurred when he moved to Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia in 1969. There, from 1969-1982, he led his girls’ teams to two state championships. In 1982 he began a very successful coaching stint at East Hall High School in Gainesville. After retiring from public school education in 1993, he moved to Lakeview Academy in Gainesville where he coached until 1999.
Coach was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fames at Tennessee Wesleyan University, Cherokee High School, and Cherokee County. With a record of 693-313, he was considered one of the winningest high school basketball coaches in the state of Georgia. In addition to his two State championships, he led his teams to three state runners-up and eight regional championships. Coach was named Region Coach of the Year eight times and State Coach of the Year twice.
Coach is survived by his wife Suzie and their three daughters, Cindy Ely Angelich (Paul) of St. Simons Island; Lyn Ely Swackhamer (Bill) of Littleton, Colorado; and Debbie Kay Wilson (Johnny) of Dahlonega. He is also survived by his 12 grandchildren: Alaynna Swackhamer Green (Mark); Eddie Baker (Dia); Michael Baker; Emily Swackhamer; Laura Angelich (Pavin Rajgopal); Katarina Swackhamer Perkins (Ben); Kristen Baker; Claire Angelich; Josh Baker (Emilee); Jason Angelich; Keely Baker; Johnathan Baker; and his nine great-grandchildren. Additionally, he is survived by
his brother Larry Ely of Ft. Worth, Texas and his three daughters.
The family would like to thank the staff and management of Manor Lake Assisted Living Facility for their loving care and attention this past 18 months.
Visitation will be held at Little & Davenport, Gainesville, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 19 th followed by a celebration of life program at 4:00. Everyone is invited to share their memories and stories of Coach Ely’s life. In lieu of flowers, if you wish to donate to a charity, please consider the Alzheimer’s Association.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 is in charge of arrangements.