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John Baxter McElwee

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John Baxter McElwee Obituary
John Baxter McElwee, Sr. "J.B."

John Baxter McElwee, Sr. "J.B.", 75, of Coushatta, Louisiana, passed away on Friday, October 5, 2012 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Services will be held Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel in Coushatta, Louisiana. Officiating will be the Reverend Olan D. McLaren assisted by Reverend John Kavanaugh. Masonic graveside rites will follow in Zion Cemetery, Fairview Alpha, LA. Visitation will be from 5p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at the funeral home with the family visitation beginning at 4 p.m.

Mr. McElwee was born January 8, 1937 in Fairview Alpha, Louisiana to Robert Lee and Vera Weaver McElwee. Mr. McElwee graduated from Fairview Alpha High School in 1954 and from Northwestern State University in 1958. He was a gifted athlete and lettered in basketball and baseball leading his teams to many championships. He also played baseball for the American Legion team. He loved fishing and was a devoted LSU and Saints fan.

Mr. McElwee began his professional life as the owner of Coushatta Esso Station in 1961.He worked for the State of Louisiana Social Security Disability Program for 20 years and was the program's State Director for 10 years. He served as President of the Louisiana Association of Disability Examiners and was later elected as President of the National Association of Disability Examiners.

He was first elected as a member of the Red River Parish School Board in 1981 and served for 30 years. He made monumental and everlasting contributions during his tenure including many hours spent traveling to Baton Rouge to lobby the legislature for changes. He was elected President of the Louisiana School Board Association in 2004 and considered the honor one of his happiest and best times in public service.

Mr. McElwee also worked as the Personnel Director of Sunbeam Corporation for over 15 years. He advised countless individuals on different career choices and helped people move forward productively after the plant closed.

He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, serving on numerous committees, taught Sunday school and served as Sunday School Superintendent. He served on the Board of Stewards At Large Church Council. Mr. McElwee was involved with Demolays, a member of the Jaycees, Lion's Club and Elks Club. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a Shriner. He recently received his 50 years recognition pin from the Masonic Lodge.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law Harmon and Opal Austin, his brother Bobby L. McElwee, his sister Eleanor McElwee Cox, his brother-in-law A.J. Cox, niece Debra Cox and nephew Wendell Cox.

Mr. McElwee is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Kay Austin McElwee, one son, John B. McElwee, Jr. (wife Sherry) of Orlando, Florida, one daughter, Kim K. McElwee of New Orleans, Louisiana, grandsons, Justin Sheriden McElwee of New York, NY and Sean Austin McElwee of Orlando Florida, one brother Michael M. McElwee (wife Beverly) of Fairview Alpha, LA; sister-in-law, Laverne McElwee of Natchitoches, LA and a special family friend Denise Bergeron of New Orleans, LA. He is also survived by brother-in-law L. Harmon Austin Jr. (wife Bess) of Orlando, FL. He is also survived by special niece Kathy McElwee Tingle (husband Mark) and nephews Gary McElwee, Jerry McElwee, Danny McElwee, Michael McElwee, Trey Austin, Ken Austin and Tanya Austin Valente. He leaves behind his two loving cats Leslie J. and Bootsie.

Pallbearers will be David Adams, Ardis Almond, Dr. Wyche Coleman, Ross Gamble, Joe Taylor, Tommy Neal, Justin McElwee, Sean McElwee, Gary McElwee, Jerry McElwee, Michael McElwee and Danny McElwee.

The family wishes to express deep heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Daniel John Moller, Jr. and the I.C.U. nurses and nurses of the 7th floor of the Willis-Knighton Pierremont Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials and contributions to First United Methodist Church in Coushatta and the Humane Society of Louisiana and the St. Charles Parish Humane Society.


Published in Shreveport Times from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, 2012
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