J Paul McCracken Funeral Home
Ligonier, PA 15658
(724) 238-9866


1941 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Passed away peacefully at his home in Ligonier, PA on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, following a long and progressive illness. He was born in New York City on February 7, 1941, and was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, the son of James H. Elkus and Lenore R. Elkus. His mother was a founder of WQED-TV in Pittsburgh and a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. His father was an industrial engineer. His paternal grandfather, the Hon. Abram I. Elkus, served as a U.S. Ambassador to Turkey under President Wilson and as a judge on the New York State Court of Appeals. His maternal grandmother, Hulda Lashanska, was a celebrated American concert soprano. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Gretchen M. Elkus of Ligonier, PA; his son James M. Elkus; and granddaughter, Sonya R. Elkus of New York City; and his sister, Peggy H. Elkus of Pittsburgh. His brother, Jonathan H. Elkus of Geneva, Switzerland, died in 2003. He is also survived by his stepchildren, William M. Duryea of Tampa, FL; and his children, William, Peter and Andrew Duryea; and Melissa Duryea Lewis of San Anselmo, CA and her children, Olivia and Augusta Lewis. Mr. Elkus was a graduate of St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, Yale University, and New York University School of Business. He resided in New York City throughout most of his adult life, where he worked as an investment manager for large corporations and organizations such as the United Nations. He was a dedicated member of his community and served as President of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a multi-service organization that has served people in need on the East Side of Manhattan and on Roosevelt Island for over 120 years. He later founded Waterford Capital Management upon his retirement to Ligonier, PA. He was an avid sportsman, traveler and lover of the outdoors. While at St. Paul's, he excelled at football, rowing, and wrestling. Following his competitive sports years, he enjoyed skiing, fishing, hunting, golf, squash, and tennis. He was a member of the Racquet & Tennis Club and the Brook Club in New York, the Piping Rock Club on Long Island, and the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. His family extends their warmest thanks to his doctors and his dedicated caregivers Nan, Trudy, Tracy, Tammy M., Sue, Karen, and Tammy T. A Memorial Service will be held at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier, PA on Saturday, September 6, 2014, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul's School with 'Elkus Family' in the memo section (Attn: Gifts Manager, 325 Pleasant Street, Concord, NH 03301, 603-229-4713), or to the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House with 'Christopher Elkus' in the memo section (Attn: Development Department, 331 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021). THE J. PAUL McCRACKEN FUNERAL CHAPEL, INC., Ligonier, PA is assisting the family, 144 E. Main St., Ligonier, PA 15658.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 20, 2014
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