ST. MARYS - Louis John Elia, 78, passed away on Sunday (Jan. 26, 2014) in Naples, Fla., with his wife and daughter by his side following a long illness with Parkinson's disease.
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He was born March 17, 1935, in Philadelphia, a son of the late Wanda Dukich and Raymond J. Blair Sr. His birth father, Louis J. Elia Sr., died in 1944 in World War II, in Normandy, France, when he was 9.
Lou was a 1952 graduate of St. Marys High School and married his high school sweetheart, Myrna M. Wickett, with whom he has been married for 62 loving and adventurous years. When they first started dating he would pick her up on his horse.
He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1958 and had a long career as a stock broker/branch manager for Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney Shearson and retired from Raymond James in Naples in 2009. Lou and Myrna lived in Camp Hill for more than 20 years and relocated to Naples in 1987. Lou had a big personality, a lot of hobbies and was very physically active until Parkinson's disease slowed him down. He was an avid pilot and used to fly his plane to see his family in St. Marys when he lived in Camp Hill.
Mr. Elia was very athletic and began running marathons at the age of 51 and had finished seven New York City marathons as well as many other marathons and half marathons. He took his love of sailing from the lakes of Pennsylvania to the Gulf of Mexico. He also loved nature from walking or riding motorcycles through the woods to canoeing in the mangroves in Florida looking for alligators.
He loved to sing and dance. He was a collector. He was a judge for the Miss Junior Miss Pageant in Pennsylvania and had a weekly television spot on the nightly news in Harrisburg with a stock market report. He was well known for giving huge bear hugs. He was beloved by his family, friends, caregivers and all who knew him.
In addition to his wife, Myrna, Lou is survived by a son, L. John Elia and his wife, Vicki of Dana Point, Calif.; his daughter, Celeste Elia Wecker and her husband Jeffrey Wecker of Greenwich, Conn.; four grandchildren, Orvil (Lacie) Elia, and Patrick (Veronica) Elia, Serena and Somer Wecker; and two great-grandchildren, Alex and Zoey Elia. Lou is also survived by his brother, Raymond J. Blair and his wife Donna of St. Marys.
Visitation will be held at the Lynch-Green Funeral Home, 151 N. Michael St., St. Marys, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at Queen of the World Church, 134 Queens Road, St. Marys, with the Rev. Richard Allen, pastor, as celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Marys Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson Foundation, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741.
The Lynch-Green Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be placed at www.LynchGreenFuneralHome.com
Lynch-Green Funeral Home Inc.
151 North Michael Street St. Marys, PA 15857
Published in The Bradford Era from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, 2014