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Visitation will be 6-9 p.m. Thursday, January 17, at Spry-Williams Funeral Home, Florence. The funeral service is 12 noon Friday, January 18, in the funeral home chapel. Interment will be at New Salem Cemetery, Limestone County.
Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
Survivors include wife, Regina Lawrence Grba; children, Stacy Grba Draves (Rich), Nick Grba (Stacia) and Donnie Kellum (Sandra); grandchildren, Devin Grba, Landon Grba, Boyd Kellum, Jesse Kellum and Cabella Smith; mother-in-law, Margaret Lawrence;
sister and brother-in-law, Bill and Angie Castleberry; and furbabies, Izzy and Marty.
Eli was a former Major League Baseball player from South Chicago, Illinois. During his five-year baseball career, he pitched for the New York Yankees (1959-1960) and Los Angeles Angels (1961-1963). He was the first selection in the 1960 MLB expansion draft which made him the first Angel. He went on to travel the U.S. and Canada as a Minor League Pitching Coach and Major League Scout.
Eli served two years in the U.S. Army (1957-1959).
In 1993, Eli married Regina Lawrence, the love of his life. He enjoyed fishing and telling his story through his published book "Baseball's Fallen Angel."
A larger than life personality, he knew no strangers!
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