Obituary of P. Haines Ely, MD |

Obituary of P. Haines Ely, MD

With sharp wit and an unparalleled sense of humor, P. Haines Ely, MD (known fondly as Haines) passed away in his home on March 9, 2020.

In his company were his beloved wife, Jennifer, his four children (Sims, Rebecca, Meredith, and Tess), and his (spirit) animals, Connor and Abigail.

Haines was a foundational character in each of his communities. An expert in dermatopathology, Dr. Ely was an accomplished practitioner, medical board member, convention keynote speaker, and award-winning professor (UC Davis Medical School). Since 1986, Haines was “the dermatologist who loves the blues” at our local radio station, KVMR. He filled our homes with moving tunes in his monthly blues show and hosted “The Earth Mysteries Show,” during which he assisted his listeners in “pulling the wool over their own eyes.”

Born in Washington D.C. on September 19, 1945 to Marica McCann Ely and Northcutt Ely, Haines learned the art of (facetious) social engagement from his older identical twin brothers, Michael and Craig. He developed a unique work ethic from his father who was an active lawyer well into his 90s, having argued before the Supreme Court seven times and held various presidential appointments. Haines attended St. Alban’s School for boys before heading out west to play soccer and lead the Alpha Delta Phi as fraternity president at Stanford University (1967). After graduating from Keck School of Medicine of USC with a Medical Doctorate (1971, 1972-75 residency in Dermatology), Dr. Ely discovered the Bowel Bypass Syndrome in 1975, winning accolades for his innovative clinical research. He was also a savvy and highly ethical businessman, owning private dermatology practices in Roseville, CA then Grass Valley, CA. Seeing upwards of 60 patients per day, he felt a personal responsibility to make medical skin care affordable, preaching “Fast nickels are better than slow dimes!” He was proud to be an active attending physician at VA Mather in Sacramento and a telemedicine practitioner through his final days.

Haines’s unmatched charisma and generous spirit made him life-long friends everywhere he went. His passions included fishing, collecting and tumbling rocks, golfing, gardening, (im)practical joking, appreciating music, exaggerating his children’s accomplishments, and glimpsing the metaphysical. Within each of these spheres, Haines developed a community and built lasting relationships with the people around him.

We will celebrate Haines with live music and friends this summer in Nevada City, CA. Please visit to learn more about the one and only Haines Ely, to share your fondest memories, and for event details as they develop.

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