In Loving Memory
August 4, 1931 – April 23, 2017
Captain John Owens McElhaney, age 85, died on April 23, 2017, after a long, full, adventure filled, happy life. John was born on August 4, 1931 in Atmore, AL, he grew up in Mobile where he graduated from Murphy High School. John served his country in the U.S. Air Force. At the age of 21 he took a job at the Mobile Airport as a Ticket Agent for Eastern Airlines. He had acquired an interest in airplanes as a boy and decided to take flying lessons. He was hired as a pilot with Eastern with only 400 hours of flying time and went on to enjoy a 38-year career. He liked to say that he retired from work the first day of his job as a pilot, he had found his passion in life! He was a loyal company man to Eastern and stood up for his beliefs and crossed the picket line when the machinist union struck Eastern, eventually causing the company to collapse as he had predicted it would. He enjoyed his retirement years to the fullest playing golf, traveling, sailing his sailboat on Mobile Bay, spending time with and entertaining his huge circle of beloved friends.
John is predeceased by his parents, Cliffie Mae and John McElhaney; baby brother, Jack McElhaney; and sister, Lynette Wooten McKean.
John is survived by his daughter, Jennifer McElhaney (David) Husack; his treasured only grandchild, Sarah Lynne Schuster; brother, W. Kenneth (Emily Persons) McElhaney; treasured nephew and nieces, Ken (Erica) McElhaney, Diane (Mike) Johnson, Suzanne (Rob) Kiser, Melissa (Derek) Scott. John adored spending time with his 8 great nieces and nephews and 8 great- great nieces and nephews! He is also survived by a plethora of fun loving cousins!
A celebration of John’s life will be held May 3, 2017, beginning at 5:00 pm, with memories and prayers beginning at 5:30pm at the “5 Rivers Delta Center” in the Delta Hall, in Spanish Fort, AL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s memory to the American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org, or Angel Flight Inc., www.angelflight.com, or Bethel United Methodist Church, 4671 Hwy 21, Atmore, AL, 36502. Expressions of condolence may be offered at www.hughesfh.com. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home in Daphne, AL.