Joseph Edward Elick (89) died unexpectedly at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis MO on September 2, 2014, from complications of a stroke.
Joe was born on February 17, 1925 in Wilkes-Barre, PA to Joseph and Helen Elick who preceded him in death. After serving as a B-17 Navigator in the 398th Bomb Group, he returned home to marry his sweetheart, Boneda Coleman in 1945. Benefitting from the GI Bill, he graduated from Bucknell University in 1949 with a degree in Engineering. The couple spent several years in Massillon, Ohio where Joe worked for Hoover, INC., and where David (1956), Steven (1959) and Melanie (1961) were born. After moving to Godfrey, IL he began working for Olin-Winchester Western as a Design Engineer. Many of the buildings at Olin and especially Building 442, have his personal stamp of creation.
Although Joe was well-respected at Olin for his attention to detail, he was better known for his famous Hosta (plant) sales at their Godfrey home. These beautiful plants were harvested out of the abundance in Joe and Boneda’s yard. Often, Redbud trees, groundcover, Hibiscus, and Peonies would be included. 100% of the proceeds always went to the Faith Lutheran Auxiliary League. Joe was a very active and dedicated member at Faith Lutheran and ended up contributing many thousands of dollars through the plant sales over the years. He became known far and wide as the Godfrey Plant Man and was even written about in the Alton Telegraph. He was an avid fisherman and shared his love of the sport with our entire family, but was feared by fish that are glad he is now fishing in eternity rather than the Mississippi.
Joseph had three siblings, Tom Elick, Matilda Grogan, and Regina Williams who preceded him in death. Many relatives in the Wilkes-Barre area survive and were influenced by Joes’ generosity including Bernadine Elick (wife of Tom) and her children, Ralph, Ronald, Romayne, and Tom Jr., Carol Grogan (daughter of Matilda), and Kenneth Williams (son of Regina Williams).
In the Alton/Godfrey area, Boneda and Joe shared 44 years of marriage before she died in 2003. Joe is survived by all his children and grandchildren. David Elick with his wife Marilyn, child, Sasha Walls and her husband Chris with their three children, Lillian, Hayden, and Ian; Steven Elick and his wife Karen and their children Adam Elick with his wife Shana and child, Jocelyn and soon to be born Natalie; Stephanie Elick with Nick Moore and their child Isabel; and Patricia Elick with Kris Cox; and Melanie Elick and her husband Ezekiel Meyer. Joe will especially be missed by David and Marilyn as he shared their home for the past 2 years.
A memorial service is scheduled for 4 PM Sunday September 7, 2014at Faith Lutheran Church located at 6809 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL 62035 with a reception to follow. Reverend Kelly Mitteis will lead the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Joe’s life
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Faith Lutheran Church or The Wounded Warrior foundation at www.woundedwarrierproject.org/donate. The family would like to thank the staff at Barnes Hospital especially Mary and Brittany 4400 ICU for their care during his last hours.
Online condolences and guest book may be found at www.eliaskallalandschaaf.com