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 a later date at the John Knox Village Chapel.
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.