We mourn the passing of our precious and loved R. Thomas Ely. Tom was born in Hollywood, California on November 2, 1952. He passed February 10, 2022, in Las Vegas. Tom is survived by his wife of 48 years, Kathy, and their four children—Aaron Ely (Hanna), Suzanne Sperry (James), Jilynda Smith (Chad), and Travis Ely (Navi). Tom also leaves behind six wonderful grandchildren (Kiara, Paige, Allison, Ocean, Asher, and Taran), a sister, Linda Agee (Jack), brothers Mike Ely (Linda), and Douglas Ely. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Cecille Ely.
Tom was a long-time community resident and an active and upstanding member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Boulder City, Nevada. Tom proudly served a 25-year career with the Nevada Department of Public Safety as a Senior Captain serving with the Highway Patrol and Parole & Probation. His law enforcement career also included duties as a police officer for cities in Nevada and California, and as a Deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department. He was a member of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Mountain Search and Rescue. He was a contributing editor for the Nevada State Law Enforcement Officers’ Association’s newsletters, press releases and magazine. Tom served as the association’s president in 1998 and 1999. He represented the association for more than a decade in front of the Nevada Legislature.
Before his long law enforcement career, he worked for the US Forest Service in the Angeles National Forest as a seasonal firefighter/tanker crewman and as a trucking business owner/operator.
Tom became a PPC Master Class competitive shooter representing the Rio Hondo College Police Pistol Team for three years. He was Carmel-by-the-Sea Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 1989 and Top Shooter in 1990.
Tom will be remembered as an honorable, loving, and devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. He was a man of integrity and strong work ethic, choosing to do the job right the first time and in accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Tom believed in and lived a life of service, committed to helping others. Tom’s personal motto was the same as the title of a book by Jeff Cooper, “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.”
Funeral services for Tom will be held at the LDS Chapel at 916 5th Street, Boulder City, NV 89005 on Saturday February 19, 2022. The viewing will be at 10:00 AM and the service will be at 11:00 AM followed by a procession to the Nelson Cemetery for the graveside service.