Coach Duane Ely passed away unexpectedly on August 21, 2019 at his home in Palmetto, FL.
Duane was born on March 12, 1943 in Binghamton to Stuart Ely and Lois Stevens Ely. Duane grew up in the town of Brooklyn, PA where he graduated from Mountain View High School in 1961. During his senior year he was sent a letter of interest from the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. He replied but never went as he decided coaching was his future.
Duane graduated from East Stroudsburg State University in 1965 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education. That fall he interviewed for a coaching position at Roxbury High School and spent the next 35 years coaching baseball, basketball, soccer and golf. Besides teaching physical education, Duane also taught Health Education, was Dean of Students, Athletic Director and Bus Driver.
Duane was selected by the Daily Star as Coach of the Year in soccer in 1987 and 1989, Basketball 1991 (boys), 1996 (girls), and Athletic Administrator of the Year 1999-2000. He was selected to the Section IV Hall of Fame in 2001.
Other duties included: Executive Secretary of the Delaware Co. Public High School League Representative to Sect. IV and Member of Sect. IV Finance, Merger and Extended Eligibility Committee. He was a Charter Member of the Board of Directors of Headwaters Soccer Club.
In April of 1967, Duane married Cheryl Smith and they had two sons, Dennis and Duane II (Deedle). In 1998 they purchased a home in Country Lakes Village I Palmetto, FL. After retiring they spent six months in Roxbury and six months in Florida. In 2016 they sold their home in Roxbury to live full time in Florida; but still Roxbury drew him back to the mountains for a few months each summer to pursue his passion… Golf.
Duane is survived by his wife of 52 years, Cheryl, his sons Dennis of Roxbury, and Deedle (Melissa) of Bradenton, FL., his grandsons Josh Clemen and Jordan and granddaughter Alyssa Faith, brothers Gary (Glenda), and Melvin (Connie) of Montrose, PA, sisters Merilys Hennighen of Binghamton, and Melanie Lasher of Hop Bottom, PA, special cousin Dale (Dee) Jesse, and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his best friend and sidekick, Barkley.
Duane was predeceased by his parents and nephews Keith and Rusty Ely.
A Celebration of Coach Ely’s life will be held in the Duane Ely Gym at Roxbury Central School on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1:00 p.m – 3 p.m. A service will be held at 3:00 p.m. and will be officiated by Rev. Richard Dykstra.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Cheryl S. Ely , PO Box 216, Roxbury, NY 12474 for a scholarship fund or to The American Heart Association.
Funeral arrangements by Brown & Sons of Bradenton, FL. and Miller Funeral Home, Roxbury, NY.