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Joseph Cotsford McElwain (1936 - 2014)

Obituary
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Joseph Cotsford McEwain past away April 21, 2014 in Porterville CA, at the age of 77. He was born July 15, 1936 in Richwood, West Virginia to Chilton and Julia McElwain and grew up and attended school in Sweet Home, Oregon. 
After graduating from high school he joined the United States Air Force where he would proudly serve for the next 20 years. During his tenure he received countless awards, medals and accommodations. He served as a base commander for the 757th Radar Squadrom for Blaine AFS in Blain, Washington. He served a successful mission with the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, and served two year-long tours in China and Thailand. During the Vietnam War he was honored with the Air Force Commendation Medal (Second Leaf Cluster) for his services as Chief Communications-Electronics Maintenance Division. His management aided the upgrade of the air traffic control facility at Don Muang International Airport, Thailand, and his development of supply procedures significantly impacted the capabilities of the Strategic Air Command, Pacific Air Force, and the Air Force Communications Service to successfully support the air war in Southeast, Asia. During his final years of service he served in the Chief Tactical Communications Branch, 803d Communications Squadron, and 803d Combat Support Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Tucson, Arizona. Upon retiring in 1974, Major Joseph C. McElwain received the Meritorious Service Medal of Honor for his service to the United States of America.
After retiring and relocating to Springville, he became a real estate agent and a loan officer for Gibralter Savings and Loan in Porterville, Ca.
During his time in Springville, Joe and his first wife Juanita were among the founding members of the Lighthouse Chapel Church in Springville, where his family served as members for many years.
Joe loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, where he was affectionately called "Grandpa Mac" and "Papa Joe". He was an avid reader and loved to work crossword puzzles. He was also quite accomplished at the game show Jeapordy, which he watched every night and rarely missed a question. Joe also had a love of ice cream, which he was able to enjoy on his last day of life.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; Chilton and Julia McElwain of OR., brothers; Bill McElwain and Frank McElwain of OR., sister; Elly McElwain of OR., first wife; Juanita J. McElwain of Porterville and daughter; Julie McElwain of Porterville.
He is survived by sister; Edie Dobson of Mt. Nebo W.V., wife; Ruby McElwain of Porterville, daughter; Debbie Allen and husband Wayne of Porterville; grandchildren; Cory Allen of Long Beach, Ca., and Amanda Allen of Porterville, step-daughter; Paula Cordova of Porterville, grand-daughter; Summer Recek and husband Brian of Porterville, and great-grandsons; Ryen and Ashtyn Recek.
There will be a graveside service on Wednesday, April 30th, 10:00 a.m. at Lindsay-Strathmore Cemetery. Pastor Job Lara of Lindsay First Baptist will be officiating.  
Published in The Porterville Recorder on Apr. 29, 2014
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