BOURY, Ellis Michael, 88, of Wheeling passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
He was born in Wheeling on March 15, 1925 the son of the late Michael and Mary Nagem Boury.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Doris Stauffer, and his brothers, George and Michael Boury.
Surviving are his wife of 66 years, Jacqualine Gates Boury; children, Janis, Jeanne, George, Joe Ellen Marini, Ellis Jr., Jacqueline, Deidre, Brian, and Kevin; and grandchildren, Hayley, Colin, Ellis III, Ian, Evan, and Luuk.
Ellis was a 1942 graduate of Wheeling High School.
Ellis served in the U.S. Navy during World War II stationed aboard the USS Ringness APD 100, which was most notably remembered for rescuing 39 survivors of the sinking USS Indianapolis.
After serving in the Navy, Ellis returned home and worked in the family business, the Boury, Inc. appliance store. In 1956 he and his brothers George and Michael opened the first Elby’s Big Boy restaurant on National Road in Wheeling. It was an immediate success and over the years grew into a chain of 75 restaurants in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In addition to the restaurants they expanded the family business to include Factory Glass Outlet/Gift shops, The Best Western Wheeling Inn, TriAd advertising, Boury Inc. Design and Construction, and other business enterprises. By the 1980’s, the Boury businesses employed more than 6500 people, which was a source of great pride for Ellis.
The three Boury brothers founded the Elby’s Distance Race in 1976 which drew runners from across the U.S. and many other countries. It also served to inspire Wheeling residents to become more active, as evidenced by the many people seen running, jogging, and walking along National Road and the Heritage Trail.
Ellis enjoyed many activities over the years including deep sea fishing, tennis, and golf. His golf career was highlighted by a hole-in-one at Speidel Golf Course. He was an avid sports fan and closely followed the Steelers, Pirates, and Mountaineers. He and his wife also enjoyed international travel.
Friends will be received Friday, May 10 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 154 Kruger St, Elm Grove. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 1225 National Rd., with internment to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, National Rd, Wheeling.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The United States Navy Memorial, www.navymemorial.org or send donations to the Ohio County Animal Shelter, 7011 National Rd, Triadelphia, WV, 26059.
On-line condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyer. com.