William Glenn McElhaney, 70, was tragically taken from us Saturday, July 27, 2013, in Jacksonville.
He was born in Elmira, N.Y., Nov. 10, 1942, the son of Glenn and Marion McElhaney. He is survived by his much beloved and cherished wife, Connie. William and Connie met, married in Key West on a beautiful sailboat named the "Black Duck" on April 24, 2000. Although their years together have been senselessly shortened, he will forever remain in her heart as her soul mate and best friend.
In addition to his wife, Connie, he is survived by his three children, John "Spencer" McElhaney and wife Jane, Michelle Scott and husband Michael, Stephanie Cavanaugh and husband Sean and their mother, Carol Dickerson McElhaney, all of Newark, Del.; his stepdaughter, Shelley Heitbrink of Jacksonville; his grandchildren, Shawn McElhaney and wife Aileen, Steven McElhaney, Kevin Kerrigan and wife Emie, Kelly Kerrigan, Sarah Cavanaugh and Seth Cavanaugh, all of Newark, Del., and Emily, Josef and Calahan Heitbrink, all of Jacksonville; and his great-grandchildren, Kierstyn Kerrigan and Kallie Phillips, both of Delaware. He is also survived by his sisters, Janice Wahl and husband Horace "Butch" of Wilmington, Del., and Linda Roeder of Anderson, S.C.; and by several nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues around the country.
William received his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering (BSME) at the University of Delaware. He taught engineering at Salisbury University in Rhodesia, Africa and designed and built their first machine to make coat hangers. He worked for many international companies in and out of the U.S., securing patents on his many designs. William tried to retire several times, however, companies continued to seek him out and he could not refuse the challenges they offered. William was in the process of accepting another engineering position upon his return to Charleston. William took every opportunity he could to learn, do or experience something new. His profession, "mechanical engineering," gave him the opportunity to live and work in Africa, China, France and many cities in the U.S. William loved the water, which prompted sailing lessons. He was always fascinated with clouds and the many shapes they created, which inspired him to take flying lessons and receive his pilot's license. When William was given the chance to learn something new, he took it and did it well.
William was an adventurer at heart. He loved to travel, experience new places, learn new things and had a passion for continued education. He was not only educated himself, but he was an educator. William would take the time to help, explain, or find a solution to any problem for anyone. He was caring, loving, adventurous and most definitely a free spirit. This truly was a man who sang loud, laughed often and danced like no one was watching. He lived life to its fullest, and loved his family with all his heart. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle. William was a member of Coastal Community Church in Charleston, S.C.
A celebration of his life will be held in Charleston, S.C., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Coastal Community Church, 460 Arlington Drive, Charleston, SC 29414 or online at www.coastalcommunitychurch.org.
The Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home and Crematory in Jacksonville were in charge of the cremation arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.buchanancody.com.