Arthur Raymond Ellard Jr., 90, of Alderson, West Virginia, passed away peacefully from natural causes on September 12, 2021 at Peyton Hospice House in Lewisburg, WV.
Raymond leaves behind a legacy of love, starting first and foremost with his beloved wife of 64 years, Almeda Ellard, who stayed by his side until he was ready to pass.
Also surviving Raymond are his son, Ray Ellard; grandchildren, Katherine Ellard and fiancĂ©, Nicolas Poloczek and Bethany Ellard-Richmond and husband, Thor Richmond; sister, Betty Bennett; sister-in-law, Kitty Ellard; niece, Barbara Bowles; nephews, Artie and Rick Shires, and several great nephews and nieces.
Raymond was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Stella Stuart Ellard; brother, Richard Ellard; his cherished daughter-in-law, Sandra Ellard, and niece and nephew, Kathy Ellard Mann and Michael Lee Ellard.
Raymond was born on March 10, 1931 on Muddy Creek Mountain outside of Alderson, WV.
Growing up he had a typical childhood for that era and engaged in all the activities a boy of that era enjoyed: hunting, riding his pony, going to school, and spending time with his family.
He graduated from Alderson High School in 1949 and joined the Air Force in 1950. He was stationed in Korea during the Korean War as part of the Material Command squadron. After completing his military service, he started the next chapter of his life by courting and then marrying his beautiful wife Almeda, becoming a father to Ray, and graduating from Concord College with a degree in Education.
He taught at Smoot High School for a few years before joining the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in Petersburg, Virginia. Raymond started his career with the BOP as a correctional officer, and then quickly moved up within the BOP to hold the titles of Teacher, Assistant Supervisor of Education, Supervisor of Education, and finally, Regional Education Administrator for the Southeast Region. During this time, he worked in several locations after starting in Petersburg, including Natural Bridge, VA, Eglin, FL, Washington D.C., Terre Haute, IN, Springfield, MO, and finally, Atlanta, GA.
After retiring in Atlanta with more than 20 years of service, Raymond and Almeda returned to Alderson, WV. Soon after, Raymond started working as a part-time contractor in the Education Dept. at FPC Alderson where he worked for another 17 years. In addition to his career, Raymond enjoyed his life as an adoring husband, dad, and then "Pop" after his grandchildren were born.
Those who knew him described him as kind, intelligent, brave, and generous. He was witty and sharp, pulling no punches, but at the same time extending his grace to anyone needing a helping hand.
He was a devout follower of Jesus, with the Book of James being a particular favorite part of the Bible because he believed in living his faith through good works rather than only words. He believed that the world was based on and revolved around love, and his love was at its greatest when shown for his family. He was known within his family for his special prayers said at family events that spoke of love and gratitude for family and God.
Raymond's grandchildren think it fitting that he passed on Grandparents' Day, as the love between them has created such a bond that it will always transcend the physical death that they are left to mourn.
Raymond's family would like to extend a special thank you to his niece Barbara, Richie at The Seasons, Hope at Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, and all of the staff at Peyton Hospice House for going above and beyond to help during his transition.
Raymond, being a lifelong Educator, has chosen to participate in WVSOM's Human Gift Registry, where he can continue to provide knowledge to students, even in death.
No services are planned at this time, but donations can be made in his honor to Peyton Hospice House in Lewisburg, WV.
The Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home handled the arrangements.