Elbert Dovel, age 91, of Roanoke went home to be with the Lord on Friday, September 25, 2020. He was born on July 10, 1929 in Rockingham County VA to the late Rev. Homer Dovel and Hettie Lam Dovel. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his “bestest” friend and wife of 67 years Emma Jean Frances Hensley Dovel and his siblings, Russell, twin brother Elwood , Helen Landis, Noah and Jesse.
Surviving to cherish his memory include children; Kemberly Smith, Lorna “Bonnie” Saunders (Danny Clinedinst), Amy Dovel, Nathen Dovel and Laila Meftah (Rob Marmerstein); grandchildren Carl Saunders (Heather), Deborah Smith, Sarah Shiflet (Wayne), Michael Smith, Jason Saunders (Kaitie) and Brandon Dovel. Also surviving are 7 great-grandchildren; Austin Smith, Jeanna Saunders, Trey Saunders, Jon Saunders, Nick Saunders, Brent Saunders and Arianna Alston. Surviving are siblings Ruth Landis and Leo Dovel.
Elbert was drafted into the Army and served in the Korean War. He mailed many letters back home to his sweetheart revealing a tender side that few outside of the family ever knew.
Elbert retired from the railroad after serving Norfolk and Western and Norfolk Southern for thirty years. He was a dedicated employee who instilled strong work ethic to his children and grandchildren through example. After retirement he worked part time at several locations in the Vinton area and volunteered at the Christian Soldiers Food Pantry. Elbert served alongside his wife to provide a loving home to over 60 foster children and touched the lives of many neighborhood children in their home daycare.
Elbert’s never ending humor and comical faces provided countless hours of entertainment to his children and grandchildren while the love of his life, Jeannie, shook her head or rolled her eyes in disbelief. Trips “over the mountain” with Pawpaw to purchase snacks for the grandkids provide cherished memories that will last a lifetime. The great-grandchildren received frequent treats; Frostys and Happy Meals. Other memories include joking, singing and dancing “Pawpaw style” (no matter what anyone else thought).
Pastor Gary Hoffman will conduct a Celebration of Life service at 11 AM on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Faith Fellowship in Wirtz, VA. Family will receive friends from 10:30 – 11 AM. Interment with full military honors will follow at Old Dominion Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to his church, Faith Fellowship’s Building Fund, 100 Wirtz Road, Wirtz, VA 24184.
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