The last surviving of twelve siblings, Joe Dennis McElroy, 83, passed away peacefully at his Stones River Manor home early Tuesday morning, September 24, 2013. He and his wife, Sue Anthum Barrett McElroy, had been happily married 61 years last month and had raised four daughters together.
Mr. McElroy was born and raised in Rutherford County and graduated from Lascassas High School. After graduating Middle Tennessee State College with his degree in Industrial Arts, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1953. He was a lieutenant and executive officer of a tank company in the 11th Armored Cavalry, assigned to the Fifth Army at Camp Carson, Colorado, and the Third Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
After his service, he worked briefly for DuPont and National Life Insurance. In 1960 he settled his family into the house they built on Pitts Lane in Murfreesboro, where they lived for the next 50 years. He went to work that year at the V.A. Hospital as a Manual Arts Therapist, until his retirement in 1989.
Mr. McElroy was a member of the Lascassas Church of Christ where he was a long-time song leader and served as an elder for 29 years. For most of his life, he farmed a bit, raising cows and goats. Years ago, his neighbors deemed him “The Mayor of Pitts Lane.” He and his wife both enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves and Lady Vols basketball. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with family and the church.
In addition to his wife Sue, he is survived by his daughters, Elaine (Joe) Thomson, Joan (Thomas) Darnell, Phyllis (Philip) Thurman, and Linda (Darryl) Elrod. He will always be known as “Pa” by his seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Jay (Kelly) Thomson, Daniel (Sara) Elrod, Kayla (Aaron) Tresnak, Noah (Lynn) Darnell, Hailey Darnell, Adam Elrod, Kathleen Elrod, Brandon Thomson, Camden Thomson, and Caety Anne Elrod. He is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.
Mr. McElroy was preceded in death by his parents, Albert D. and Kyndness Keele McElroy; his brothers, Charles William, Keele, John, Fred, Sam, Jordan, and Jim Lee; and his sisters, Mary Garvin, Eula Craddock, Hilda Walker and Ruth Stevick.
His funeral service will be Friday, September 27, 2013, 10:00 AM at Lascassas Church of Christ and will be officiated by T.J. Wakefield and Billy Higginbotham. Burial will be in Milton Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Mr. Elroy’s grandsons and great-grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be Frank Caffy, Paul Dodd, Dr. Wayne Murphy, Mike Gann, Eddie Spears, Mark Neely and Mike Huddleston.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 26, 2013, 4:00-8:00 PM at Lascassas Church of Christ.
Memorial donations can be made to the Stones River Manor Benevolence Fund and the Lascassas Church of Christ Building Fund.
Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home; 820 South Church St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130; 615-893-2422. Please leave condolences at www.jenningsandayers.com.