Services set for UT administrator Eli Fly

Sandra ClarkFarragut

Tom King sends along the news that longtime Rotarian Eli Fly has died. Tom writes:

Emerson Harold “Eli” Fly passed away peacefully on Aug. 7 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Graveside services with full military honors will be held Monday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m. at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier Highway in Knoxville.

The obituary from Click Mortuary reads:

Eli was born on Feb. 5, 1935, in Milan, Tenn., and was the only child of Francis and Emerson Fly. Raised from the age of 2 by his widowed mother, Eli joined the U.S. Navy and became an aviator on the USS Intrepid. After his military service, utilizing the GI Bill, he earned a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Tennessee in 1961, became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and joined the University of Tennessee as an assistant auditor.

Eli held various positions of increasing responsibilities at the University that culminated as the President of the University of Tennessee. He retired in 2002, only to be called back in 2003 to serve as interim executive vice president. During this time, he also served in the USN Reserves, retiring in 1995 at the rank of commander.

In 2001, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) gave its highest award to Eli in recognition of his almost 40 years of “outstanding contributions to business and finance management in higher education.”

Eli was an also avid sportsman, UT sports fan, and a wonderful and caring husband, father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his grandson, Eli Santos. He is survived by his loving wife, Catherine Wright Fly; son Dr. Randy Fly and wife Jessica, son Brian Fly and wife Tracy, daughter Laura Hartman and husband Mark, daughter Karen Santos and husband Mike, as well as nine grandchildren.

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