Fred D. Eley Sr.

Published 8:57 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

MURFREESBORO – Fred “Duck” Douglass Eley Sr., age 84 of Murfreesboro, died September 14, 2014 at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Ahoskie, NC.

Mr. Eley was born in Hertford County. He was the second son of Troy and Alice Vinson Eley. Following the untimely death of his mother, he and his two brothers, Herbert and George Howard, were adopted into the homes of their extended families in Eley Town, east of Murfreesboro, where they grew up.

Duck attended Riverview Elementary School and C.S. Brown High School. After leaving C. S. Brown he moved to New York where he trained as a boxer with hopes of becoming a prize fighter. He eventually returned home and married his high school sweetheart, Iris R. Deans and to this union six children were born.

Fred Douglass Eley, Jr. and Ann Lois Eley Riddick preceded their father in death, and he is survived by daughters Alice Eley Jones, SSgt Retired USAF Jackie L. Eley and Herbert C. Eley of Murfreesboro, April Eley Jackson (Jack) of Oxon Hill, Maryland, and Mrs. Iris R. Eley of Creekside Health & Rehabilitation Center of Ahoskie. Grandchildren include John A. Riddick, Jr.(Karis) of Raleigh, James Troy Eley of Murfreesboro, Devona Myrick (Dominique) of Chesapeake, VA, Briana Eley of Washington, DC, and Frederick De Worken (Maria) of Montana, and one great granddaughter, Marisabel. He is additionally survived by niece Ivy Eley and other nieces and nephews of New Jersey and a host of EleyTown relatives.

At an early age he joined Parkers Grove Baptist Church in Mapleton. He was also a Mason. Duck was a farmer, part-time employee of the Red Apple Service Station, long-time employee of Riverside Manufacturing Company and North Carolina Department of Corrections retiree. He sold firewood and vegetables, and was the “go to man” for out of town transportation. He is remembered as a smiling, friendly, sociable friend and a father figure to the many children in the Diamond City community. In the era before child protective services, Duck and Iris often took children into their Diamond Street home and cared for them as a favor to their families.

Those who knew Duck will remember him best as a caring and nurturing father who took his children on Sunday trips, driving lessons, and rainy day pick-ups from Riverview School (he was proud that he never allowed his children to walk home in the rain). Each child was given a day to turn the car around in the driveway when he came home from the “mill” for his supper at 7:00. Most importantly, he spent many hours talking to his children, sharing family history and local events. No Sunday was complete without a visit to Eley Town where aunts, uncles and cousins were visited.

Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Burial will follow in the Eley Town Cemetery on Eley Town Road. The family will receive afterwards in the church fellowship hall.

Flowers are welcomed or memorial donations may be made to The Rouson Scholarship Fund at Chowan University.

Hunter’s Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.