Clinton McElroy
Clinton McElroy

Obituary of Clinton McElroy

Clinton Richard McElroy, 101, of Beach Park, IL, went to be with his Lord on January 16, 2022 at the Lovell VA Medical Center in North Chicago, IL. Clint was born January 14, 1921 in Zion, IL. He graduated from Waukegan High School. He worked at NOSCO in North Chicago. Clint was a faithful member of Grace Missionary Church in Zion, IL. He is survived by his brother, Alfred McElroy; and many nephews, nieces, and their children. He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha E. McElroy; parents, Louana and Richard McElroy; sister, Myrtle Belle Ruchti; sister-in-law, Marian (Al) McElroy; sister-in-law, Georgene (Keith) Price; brother-in-law, Bill (Faye) McDowell. A visitation will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Grace Missionary Church, 1415 27th Street, Zion, IL from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the church. Interment will follow at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park, Zion. In Honor of Uncle Clint by: Mike McDowell Clint McElroy was honored by his family, his church, his city and the American Legion Post 865 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Clint wasn’t too sure about all the attention, but he said he understood why, It’s not everyday someone turns 100. Clint was born on January 14, 1921 in his family home on Enoch Ave in Zion. He attended the parochial school in Zion until fifth grade and then went to the public school. Zion-Benton Township High School didn’t exist back then, so he was bussed to Waukegan for high school. Clint shared some memories from his school days with the family. Did you know that it was popular back in the late 1920’s to roller skate to school? After high school Clint got a job with Nosco as a printer / typesetter. Although he ended up working for Nosco for 42 years, his career was interrupted by World War II. Clint was drafted into the Army during the war and was deployed to England and France. He served his country in the 690th Ordinance and Ammunition Company. He recalls it was a lot of heavy lifting, supplying troops with artillery rounds. In preparation for D-day, he remembers loading and unloading tons of artillery rounds, and then his company was assigned to pick up all the unused rounds in France after the major battles. Everyone had a role to play in the war effort including making sure our troops had ordinance and ammunition to fight. Clint made the rank of Staff Sergeant and was awarded the bronze service star and the silver service star. One interesting note is that during Clint’s deployment in France, his company was given R&R and Clint found a golf course and played a round of golf, he’s got pictures to prove it. After the war, Clint returned to Zion and married the love of his life, Martha (McDowell) McElroy on September 10, 1948. The couple loved to camp and as Clint tells it, they camped around the country for more than 50 years. They started out in tents made of canvas, probably similar to what he slept in during the war, but they ended up with the top-of-the-line Avion Airstream. Camping was not Clint’s only adventures. He and his younger brother Al (a mere 97 years old) spent many years flying around the country in an experimental aircraft that Al built. Now that is a story in and of itself, but it will have to be told later. They flew around the Midwest a lot and took one trip to Colorado Springs, but their longest trip in the canvased wrapped experimental aircraft was to Tucson, Arizona. The plane could only hold enough fuel for a two-hour flight time, so they had to land and refuel every two hours. Clint has been a member of Grace Missionary Church in Zion since he was thirteen years old. He was the lead singer in the popular GMC Vocal Quartet; what—you’ve never heard of them? Well then, what about the GMC Sax Quartet? These were popular local groups back in the day. They were on the radio and toured, they have records and everything. I guess the modern equivalent would be boy bands. After Clint retired from Nosco he started volunteering at Grace Missionary Church. He served as a Deacon and has been their Sound Technician / Maintenance Man for 37 years. He has recently given up the Sound Tech job because he said he really doesn’t hear well anymore, but you will still find him at the church most days on a ladder or running wire or doing other odd jobs. No living person knows that building better than Clint McElroy. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, Clint is an avid golfer. I mean really, who other than an avid golfer would seek out a golf course in a war zone? The Zion Park District had a program offering a free round of golf on your birthday and Clint wanted to get his free round once the course opened in the Spring. He tried and tried to register for the free round of golf and every time the program would freeze. He even went to the course club house and they couldn’t even register him. It turned out he was too old. The box to register your birthdate didn’t go back to 1921. Clint brought the issue the Park Board and the Commissioners decided to allow anyone who reaches their 90th birthday to golf for free at Shiloh Park Golf Course. Clint plays on average two rounds a week and he has been doing that since he was 90. This Spring I’m sure we will see him out on the course again. So, you 90-year-olds out there, you can thank Clint McElroy for your free golf. By the way for you golfers reading this, he can easily golf his age! Clint is a hard-working man who found how to balance work and leisure, he is someone to be admired. When the God speaks of blessing someone in the Bible, a sign of that blessing is often long life. Clint has been blessed by God and is a blessing to all who know him.
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