Former Juneau resident William Henry Elkinton Jr. died peacefully March 31, 2010, at his home in Maryville, Tenn. He was 78.
He was born Oct. 21, 1931, in Osawatomie, the second of five children born to William Henry Elkinton and Bessie Mae Spellman Elkinton. He enjoyed small-town life as a boy and entertained his grandchildren with stories of his cousins and their many misadventures. He graduated from Osawatomie High School in 1949.
He attended Colorado Springs Bible College where he met Margaret Alma Tremaine. They were married April 8, 1955, and had five children.
He received a bachelor's degree from Friends University in Wichita and a master's degree from the University of Alaska in Anchorage. A lifelong learner, his major areas of study included theology, philosophy, history, education and administration. He was a prolific reader, and enjoyed challenging others to learn new things. He did his best to instill that passion in both his children and his students, often asking them to tell him what new things they had learned during the day. Above all, his desire was to point others to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
He held many jobs throughout his life. He served briefly in the National Guard and was proud to have worked on the Missouri-Pacific Railroad. During his more than 30 years in education, he taught in public and private schools in California, Kansas, North Carolina and Alaska.
While in Anchorage, he acted as Wing Chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He pastored in Alaska and Kansas, facilitated Bible training sessions and taught Sunday School for many years. He opened and operated a Christian book store in Thomasville, N.C., as well as a flag business in the Kansas City, Kan., area.
He was president of the North Carolina Christian Schools Association and was a concerned participant in local politics. Throughout his life, he had many unique experiences. A highlight was the discovery of a signet ring from the time of Daniel uncovered during an archaeological dig in the Holy Land.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Elaine Page; brother, Edd Elkinton; son, William H. "Hank" Elkinton III; and daughter, Camilla Joy Elkinton.
"He was a devoted husband and father," his family wrote.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Elkinton; daughters, Jan Cummins, of Juneau, Kay Austin, of Greenback, Tenn., and Pamela Verebasaga, of Juneau; 11 grandchildren; and two sisters, Jean Brown, of Sterling, and Juanita Otero of Bend, Ore.
A service to commemorate his life was held April 7 at the Wesleyan Church in Osawatomie, Kan., under the direction of the Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home. The family plans to have a memorial service in Juneau this summer.
Memorials may be made to the Elkinton Scholarship Fund at Hobe Sound Bible College, P.O. Box 1065, Hobe Sound, FL 33475.