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John Price Ely


Published June 30, 2020

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John Price Ely, 90, of Orange, entered into rest on June 26. He is survived by his sons Peter Ely and Jon Ely; his daughter Robin Ely; two grandchildren, Travis Scott and Francesca Ely-Spence; and his life partner, Carole Porto. He was predeceased by his parents Heber and Sarah Price Ely; a brother, William Ely; a sister, Julia Belle Arnold; and his former wife and mother of his children, Audrey Streit Ely.

Upon graduation from Syracuse University, John worked with the State Welfare Department as a caseworker. He continued his education and earned a masters’ degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. He also served 2 years, as a psychiatric social worker, in the Korean War. During the 35 years he worked for the State, John was sequentially promoted to his final title as director of field operations for the Department of Social Services. He was instrumental in developing and implementing the separation of child welfare services from financial assistance programs. In fact, his plan became the prototype for other states seeking this division. His entire career was directed at developing programs to uplift the poor and the downtrodden.

John shared almost 50 years with his life partner, Carole. Together they traveled throughout the United States and the Caribbean. John was especially drawn to Aruba, and he and Carole vacationed there every year for 30 years. These trips included many friends who shared their two-bedroom timeshare. John loved doing crossword puzzles, watching Judge Judy and Family Feud, and camping across the United States with Carole. He was a gregarious man who was often the life of the party.

A special thanks to the staff at Maplewood at Orange for the magnificent and expert care they provided John for the past year and a half. They were generous with their devotion and kindness to John as they are for all the residents.

Visitation took place on June 29 at the West Haven Funeral Home at the green. A graveside service took place on June 30 at Fountain Hill Cemetery, 57 High St., Deep River. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Shriner’s Hospital or The First Congregational Church of Deep River. To leave a message for the family, please visit our website

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