Darl Round Eley of Plainwell, MI went to be with his Lord and Savior in the early hours of Sunday, January 23, 2022, at the age of 93.
For those who had the pleasure of knowing and loving Darl Eley, their lives were made richer, for in the very heart of Darl, his sense of integrity and dedication knew no bounds. A loving family man, Darl worked hard to provide for those entrusted to his care. He was a wonderful example for his children and grandchildren to live by, and friends considered him ever loyal. With faith as his guide, he lived fully in the love of his Lord and devotion to his family. Although deeply missed, Darl leaves a lasting legacy always to be remembered.
Darl’s story began in the year 1928. An exciting time in our nation’s history, the Roaring Twenties redefined the culture of America while the entertainment industry reached new heights. The discovery of Penicillin forever changed the field of medicine, and legendary baseball players set astounding records on the ball fields. Although the U.S. was on the brink of the Great Depression, a most welcome event in the lives of Walter and Frances (Round) Eley of Plainwell, Michigan was the birth of their little boy, whom they lovingly named, Darl Round Eley.
Growing up on his family farm provided young Darl with a good work ethic. Alongside his sister, Barbara, the Eley family made numerous memories always to be cherished. From his earliest beginnings, Darl was raised in faith and came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior. He was a lifetime member of Plainwell First Baptist Church. He loved the gospel and continued to share it gladly with others throughout his entire life.
Darl attended the local schools and participated in band. Following high school, he answered the call to duty, enlisting to serve in the U. S. Army during the Korean War. He played the trumpet for the U.S. Army band until his honorable discharge after two years of active duty. Patriotic to the core, Darl was a believer in the principals for which America stood for which continued throughout his life. He was always flying the American flag, and was ever proud for having served his country.
Life as Darl knew it forever changed when he met Edythe Longjohn while roller skating at the Plainwell Roller Rink. They literally fell for one another that fateful day when they both took a tumble on their skates. After helping one another up, they continued to do so for their remaining days together. Darl and Edythe were joined in marriage on October 2, 1954, before a congregation of family and friends. For the next 58 years, they loved, laughed, and took in life’s sorrows and joys. With faith as their ever present guide, they navigated life’s ups and downs together with God’s grace.
The newlyweds made their home in Plainwell. In fact, Darl only moved once his whole life through and that was when he and his dad built the place he and Edythe would call their family home on the very property he grew up on. Before long, Darl and Edythe welcomed the blessing of children in their lives with the births of two lovely daughters, Colleen and Lynda. They raised their girls in faith and were quite involved at Plainwell First Baptist Church as a family.
Darl faithfully taught Junior High Sunday School and AWANA for many, many years. As a couple, Darl and Edythe were very committed to missions through their church. They gave from their hearts without measure to spread the good news of Christ. In all ways, Darl was very generous with his time and resources. He absolutely loved working the land farming and landscaping the yard. He had two large, beautiful gardens and from the fruits of his labor, he loved nothing more than sharing it with church friends and others. It was evident Darl loved his church where he remained so active and faithful, serving until the last.
Darl farmed with his dad in his younger years and continued the family tradition right up until recent years. Edythe loved canning and made delicious meals from the bounty for their family and anyone who was welcome at their table. Darl loved his wife’s cooking and baking, especially her pies.
A very social fellow, Darl possessed the gift of hospitality. He loved planning parties and wanted everyone included. He especially enjoyed hosting large gatherings on his property complete with a large tent. Often times there were 100 or more people in attendance and for all to enjoy, gospel music filled the air and good food was always shared.
Darl loved sharing the gospel and did so at every opportunity. He also had a great love for gospel music, and enjoyed going to concerts. He was especially fond of Southern gospel, the Gaithers, and the Legacy Five. After working for Michigan Gas Utilities for 30 years, Darl retired in 1989 at the age of 62 which gave him more time to serve, spend time with family and do some of the many things that brought him joy. He enjoyed going to tractor shows and showed his tractors in local parades. One of Darl’s favorite places was visiting the cabin he and his father had built which always remained special to him. Through the years he enjoyed hunting deer, rabbit, and squirrel with friends, but truth be told, they often did more joking around than hunting! Darl was always one for a good joke or story. He and Edythe also spent some time traveling during his retirement years with friends, making countless memories along the way.
Some men count their blessings by the homes they live in, the cars they drive, and the riches they have attained. For Darl Eley, his greatest joy was found in serving his Lord, in the love of family and the friends he was blessed to have met along life’s way. Darl was a hard working man who provided unconditional love and unending care for his family. A family man through and through, there was no place he was happier than sharing the company of those he loved and cared about. Darl used his gifts to humbly serve the Lord. For those who knew Darl best, rich are the memories he leaves behind, yet richer still is his legacy.
Darl was preceded in death by his parents, sister, and by his beloved wife, Edythe. He is survived by his daughters, Colleen (Mike) Yonge and Lynda (Larry) Jones; grandchildren: Grace (Scott) Shaw, Luke (Emily) Jones, Janae Brookens, Audry (Shell) Enns, and Elisa (Joey) Scheribel; great-grandchildren: Bryce and Brynley Brookens, Wilder Enns, Natalie, Eric, and Blake Shaw.
In accordance with the family’s wishes public services will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022, with a time for visiting beginning at 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. at The First Baptist Church of Plainwell, 404 West Bridge Street, Plainwell, MI 49080.
While at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign Darl’s guestbook and/or share a memory with his family.
The Eley family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes and Cremation Society, 120 S. Woodhams Street, Plainwell, MI 49080. 269-685-5881.