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Jack Harrington Elrod Jr.


1924 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Jack Harrington Elrod Jr. Obituary
ELROD, Jr., Jack H. Jack Harrington Elrod, Jr., nationally syndicated cartoonist, died peacefully at his home outside Atlanta, Georgia on February 3, 2016. Mr. Elrod is predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Mary Ann Candee Elrod. He is survived by his children: Jack, III (Karen), Stephen (Leigh), Candee Butler (Jeff) and Tony (Jennifer); and, 11 grandchildren - Kathryn, Robert and James Gerlach; Catherine Elrod Maher (Michael) and Elizabeth Elrod; David (Lindsey) Butler, Joseph Butler, and Mary Butler Compton (Chris); Jeanna Bobbitt (James), Amanda and Emily Elrod; and 6 great-grandchildren, Madeline and Megan Maher; Sarah Grace Bramlett and Briana Compton; Royal Bobbitt; and, Ava Catherine Elrod. Jack Elrod was born in Gainesville, Georgia on March 29, 1924, the son of Jack and Pauline Gillespie Elrod. Except for his service in the Navy aboard the USS Titon as a meteorologist in the Pacific Theater in World War II, Mr. Elrod lived his entire life in Georgia. He began working as a cartoonist with Ed Dodd on the "Mark Trail" environmental cartoon strip in 1950 and took over the rights and sole authorship of the strip in 1978 until his retirement on his 90th birthday in 2014. Mr. Elrod also created a family style cartoon strip, "The Ryatts", which he based on his own family. Mr. Elrod loved his family and the outdoors. He worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on several campaigns promoting weather safety, fire prevention and environmental conservation. Mr. Elrod was the recipient of over 30 conservationist awards from both national agencies and private organizations including receiving the "Take Pride in America" Award from President Regan and the Golden Smokey (the Bear) from the USDA Forest Service, and helped educate children and adults through the Wetlands coloring books, visiting classrooms and speaking to civic and community groups. His walls are lined with plaques and certificates from various organizations appreciative of his work and his use of Mark Trail's voice for environmental concerns. Mark Trail has been featured at the Universal Studios Park in Orlando Fl. and is featured in a long-term exhibit at Busch Gardens (Tampa). "Trailheads" and Gary Larson have spoofed Mark Trail in print and on the internet. But perhaps the most gratifying tribute was the designation of the "Mark Trail Wilderness" in 1991 - 16,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest that includes portions of the Appalachian Trail that Mr. Elrod hiked throughout his life. A private memorial service will be held on February 20th for the family with interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell (www.chattnaturecenter.org).
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 5, 2016
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