In Memory of

Gerald (Jerry) K. McElhiney

October 7, 1930 - November 6, 2020


Jerry McElhiney, age 90, John Knox Village (JKV), Lee’s Summit, MO passed away on November 6, 2020.

Jerry was born on October 7, 1930, in Bethany, Missouri. He grew up on a farm near Bethany and loved being outside. He served in the United States Air Force from 1950-1954 and was stationed with the 8th Bomb Squadron during the Korean War.

Jerry married Mary Lee Booth on August 19, 1956, in Bethany, Missouri. They lived in Columbia, Missouri, while Jerry attended the University of Missouri. Jerry graduated on June 7, 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He worked as a Civil Engineer for the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS). During his career, Jerry earned his Professional Engineering license and was named NRCS Engineer of the Year for the state of Missouri. One of his most memorable and favorite projects was being the lead engineer of the 1993 Flood Reclamation of the tie-back levees and drainage ways in counties bordering the Missouri River between Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri. He retired with 43 years of service on January 3, 1997.

Jerry and Mary lived in Warrensburg, Missouri, from 1960 to 1998 where he volunteered for community activities such as chairman of the Warrensburg United Methodist Church Board, Sunday school teacher, and president of the Warrensburg Kiwanis Club. He was also chairman of the Natural Resources Conservation Service Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights Committee for three years and served on the Mid-America Regional Council of Kansas City. Jerry held his private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying. Following retirement, they moved to Tucson, Arizona, and lived there for 14 years. Jerry was president of the board of the Golden Goose thrift store in Catalina, Arizona, and was awarded the Daily Points of Light Volunteer Award created by the administration of President George H. Bush.

Jerry and Mary returned home to Missouri in 2012 and moved to John Knox Village. Jerry participated in many JKV activities such as serving two terms on the JKV Board of Directors; vice president of the JKV Foundation Ambassadors Executive Committee; member of the JKV Auxiliary Committee; the Chaplain’s Advisory Committee; Resident Council Finance Committee; president of the Building A and Friends; Gardener’s Market Association; member of the Village Church Choir; Choraliers; and leader of the Building A exercise group.

In 2014, Jerry had the privilege of taking an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. for Korean war veterans.

At the age of 84, Jerry checked an item off his bucket list by completing a tandem sky diving jump.

Jerry enjoyed serving the residents of JKV and working in the garden along- side other residents. He rediscovered his love of singing and recorded three CD’s: Favorite Songs, a Christmas Album, and Christian music.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, and daughters Julie McElhiney (Lee’s Summit, Missouri) and Michelle (McElhiney) Midboe of Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren: Lauren, Grant, Faith, Lance, Joy, and Charity Rose Midboe.

A memorial service will be held at the John Knox Village Chapel on July 31, 2021 at 3:00 PM.

The family requests charitable donations be made in memory of Jerry McElhiney to the John Knox Village Foundation, 400 NW Murray Road, Lee’s Summit, MO, 64081.


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Our sincere condolences to Mary, Julie, Barb, Michelle, and family. It was a pleasure knowing such a wonderful man. Jerry will be greatly missed. I pray you will have peace in knowing he is resting with our Heavenly Father.

All our love,
Susan, Michael, Ryan, Gavin, Larry Hausam, and Kevin Gilmore

I have such fond memories of Uncle Jerry! He was so interesting and active in life. I love him and will truly miss him. Rest In Peace Jerry❤️


So sorry to read about Jerry’s passing. He was very active and truly lived life. Hope you are doing well also. Give the girls a big hug for me.


The unofficial mayor of John Knox Village, Jerry was an inspiration to all who knew him. I will miss his steady, gentle approach to life and feel blessed that I knew him.

Jerry and I developed a close friendship over his 8 years at John Knox Village. He served on several boards and committees here and was always 100% committed and engaged in the life and health of the Village. Jerry would come by my office regularly and we would have wonderful conversations on a wide variety of topics. I always admired his energy and spirit. He and I researched the possibility of starting a hydroponics operation here. He never lacked in his curiosity and zest for life. I love both Jerry and Mary. They have made my life more full because of knowing them.

Jerry was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He always had a smile and was always in a good mood. I really appreciated all the work he did while living at John Knox Village.

I saw him for the last time about three months ago as my wife and I were walking. I was so glad to see him I stepped over to shake his hand. Then I realized I wasn’t supposed to do that because of COVID 19. Well, I’m glad I did now, because I liked him so much.

My deepest sympathy to Gerry’s friends and family.
I met him through the John Knox veterans club, saw him around the campus and always enjoyed his company because of his gentlemanly behavior.

It was truly an honor to serve alongside Jerry and be mentored by him while on the JKV Board. It was a privilege to know him.

He became my friend when I moved to Warrensburg many years ago and I visited with him for the last time in the hospital recently. I am thankful for the opportunity to know him and his family.

Mary and family,
I can hear singing “God of Our Fathers” and “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder”. Know that others share your loss and are with you in spirit and prayer—I feel blessed that our lives crossed. In Christian love, Anna

Jerry was an inspiration to my work with the Soil Conservation Service. He will be missed by all that know him.

I worked with Jerry at NRCS and learned a lot of solid engineering principles from him. I remember he sold Shaklee, that he got front row seats to see Michael Jackson with Julie back in the early 80’s, and that he was a good witness of his Christian beliefs. Goodness, of all things to remember about a person, right? I know he’ll be missed. He was a super nice guy who everyone liked.

Mary and Girls,
How sad to hear of this. Condolences to you all. May he rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.

Jerry was super to work with. He was my engineer and go-to resource when I was DC in both Warsaw and Warrensburg. I could always count on him to find me an answer when we had a problem.

I remember spot-checking a set of terraces down by Cole Camp when the temperature was 20, windy, and blowing snow. Both of us got a bit of real frostbite on our ears. (Oh, and the terraces met specs!)

He was a great guy to be around.

Blessings and prayers, Dan

I worked with Jerry in Higginsville, Mo.
He was always a positive thinker and tried to always be teaching!
I enjoyed knowing him and working with him very much!
He will be missed!

My thoughts and prayers for Mary, Julie, Michelle, and the family. I worked for Jerry in the 80s at the then “Soil Conservation Service” and learned what a kind, patient, committed, and thorough engineer and person Jerry was. He loved the work he did to protect the land, he cared deeply for the people in his life. It was an honor to have know and worked for Jerry. His life has truly made an impact.

Sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. Prayers go out to family members.
I was a Soil Conservation Service field technician back in 1978 to 1981 while Jerry was the Area Engineer at Warrensburg, MO.

I always considered Jerry to be brilliant! He and I worked with the Mid-America Regional Council on resource conservation issues. What a superb mind and educator; always making his points in a tactful manner. When I think of the word “professional” I think of Mr. Gerald (Jerry) McElhiney. He was my mentor, my friend.

Mary and Family

I am sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. I worked with Jerry at NRCS since 1964. I graduated from MU with a degree in Ag. Engineering a year after Jerry did. Jerry was a very good Engineer and a wonderful person.


Richard Koenig .

Jerry was one of my first supervisors in SCS/NRCS. I learned a great deal from him. He was a good friend and a good example for life in general. I look forward to seeing him in heaven.
My deepest sympathy to all the family.

So sorry to hear of Jerry’s death. His family were all dear friends and I remember them all. Sympathy and prayers to all his family.

Jerry and I met at a training course in Wisconsin in the early 1960’s. Little did we know our paths would cross 20 years later in Missouri. Early in our renewed relationship it became apparent Jerry was held in high regard, a mentor for many new employees and always applied sound engineering principles. Above all, he was everyone’s friend and highly respected. It was my privilege to have Jerry for a fellow employee in the 1970’s and 80’s and to count him as a personal friend since we both retired. It was always a joy to get together with Jerry and Mary both in Arizona and Missouri. He admired and loved his family and looked forward to spending time with them. Jerry would be at the top on anyone’s “best friends” list. Rest in peace Jerry McElhiney, P.E.

Hugh and Sharon Curry

What a wonderful man! I worked in the state office for NRCS and was blessed to have worked with Jerry in a support role. He was always kind and a welcome voice on the other side of the phone.
Heaven threw open the gates for Jerry!

I’m so sorry to hear about Jerry’s passing. He was a true inspiration to all who had ever worked with him. He will missed.

So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. I was a Missouri USDA/NRCS/SCS soil scientist for 37 years; over 15 in Bethany, the rest in Columbia. Knew & liked Jerry. I’ve been retired since 2008. Live at Lake of the Ozarks now. Will be praying for Jerry and all your family. Bill & Kris Pauls

I only knew Jerry for a year and he made an incredible impact on my life. Having known him is such a blessing. What an incredible and sincere man who I can certainly look up to in every way!

Jerry and I met when I first started working for the Foundation at the Village. It was an instant friendship with he and Mary. What a big heart he has when speaking of all his family. Something I always admired of him. Always so active up until his last days, getting the most out of every day with a smile always on his face. Keeping us all on track always with new and fresh ideas. I will always treasure the last few months going to your door Mary and visiting with Jerry and you, seeing what true, unconditional love you had for one another and for your beautiful family as well. Heaven gained a wonderful angel. I sure will miss him.
Love you Jerry and Mary. Love to you also, Julie, Michelle and families

It is with deep sympathy that Jerry has gone to be with Our Lord in Heaven; comforting to know that too he is enjoying a new life there. It was my pleasure to have known and associated with Jerry through Kiwanis as I too was a president there many years ago – right after Jerry, I believe. May God bless and comfort the family during this time and have faith in being reunited with him one day in Heaven.

Mary, Julie & Family – I am very to hear of Jerry’s passing. He was one of my most favorite supervisors & mentors while with USDA in Missouri. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your families. V/R, Raymond W. Martin P.E.

Sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. All I can think of is his smile, I am sure he is wearing it proudly now! I was fortunate to meet Jerry as I was beginning my USDA NRCS career as a young Ag Engineer in Missouri. He set a bar, just a good mentor, a good engineer, a good man. Someone to aspire to be like. He impacted many lives in a positive way over his lifetime.

Jerry was my first boss when I started working in 1964 in the watershed project office in Warrensburg, MO. He has some interesting stories about night flying in an A-26 in the Korean war. Condolences to Mary and the rest of the family.

I was fortunate to have worked for Jerry immediately after starting with SCS (now NRCS). Jerry was confident, knowledgeable, resourceful, honest, friendly, had pure motives and had a great work ethic. As we traveled for work he shared meaningful stories that could be used when dealing with future challenges. I valued knowing what didn’t work so that they could be avoided in the future. He was a great teacher.

Jerry put me in charge of designing a lagoon for a dairy. When it came time to survey the topography he volunteered to hold the rod while I looked through the total station. In order to speed the process he jogged between shots. He would have been 60 years old and jogged between shots. I knew he exercised at home, had the appearance of someone who stayed in good shape but when I saw him hustling like that my respect for him reached a new level.

One of his many admirable attributes was a positive attitude. Jerry always stayed positive, even toward the end of his career. He embraced change, developed helpful techniques to help with the change and seemed to be full of ideas to improve a process. He represented a great role model for anyone paying attention.

Jerry was also very generous. He patched asphalt holes in the subdivision’s road, cleared snow in the subdivision early in the morning and loaned his equipment to those in need. He told me once that a man had loaned him some equipment once and he wanted to repay that good dead. He repayed it many times over.

Jerry’s influence will last a long time. His actions will influence family and many friends. We will remember him and the good lessons he taught.

God bless Jerry.


Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Saturday, July 31, 2021
3:00 PM
John Knox Village Pavilion
520 NW Murray Rd,
Lee's Summit, MO 64081