In Memory of




Obituary for John David Elkins

John David Elkins, husband of Jo Stroker Elkins, of Clintonville, departed this life on Monday, April 3, 2023, at his residence, with his loving family by his side, having attained the age of 88 years. John was born at home, in the back bedroom of their house, in Portsmouth, Ohio, on February 26, 1935, the son of the late Albert and Katherine Thompson Elkins. When his older sisters, Clara Frances, Alberta, and Mary Lou found out they had a baby brother, they begged Dr. Test to send him back, but that request was not granted. Being the ‘baby’ of the family, John had many special expectations and rewards – and being the only boy in the neighborhood, he learned to respect the authority of Mrs. Cooper, The Shorts, The Farmers, The Dodds, The Freezes, and all the other families in the neighborhood.

John went to McKinley Elementary School and Portsmouth High School which helped him in later schooling. Even though he had poor success in Latin, that knowledge came in handy. While growing up in Portsmouth, his work experiences included grocery work at Gemperline’s local store and Kroger. He also worked in the auto industry by retrieving parts and retailing by driving a delivery truck for Stewart Dry Goods. For reasons that remained a mystery to all, John was granted admission to Transylvania College. He was fed by his sister Alberta, which eased the sacrifice of his parents. While at Transylvania, he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and the Acapella Choir where he served as the choir manager. John graduated in 1957, after marrying Josephine M. Stroker, in December 1956, at Clintonville Christian Church.

After graduating from Transylvania College, John served in active duty for 6 months and 8 years on Reserve with the United States Army. His graduate studies began at Lexington Theological Seminary and then continued at the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, and Morehead State University. Concluding his studies, John began his teaching experience with Bourbon County Schools as Teacher, Head Teacher, Elementary Principal, Supervisor of Instruction, and Assistant Superintendent. While at Bourbon County Schools, he wrote the original Head Start program for the district. He worked with Bourbon County Schools for 27 years and retired in 1988, at which time he began his retirement career in Christian service, gardening, and woodworking.

The marriage to Jo was blessed with children Albert and Kathy Jo “KJ”. Albert married Cathy Jo (Fish) Elkins and they brought into the family grandson, Brandon (wife Amber) Elkins, and twin granddaughters, Ashlee and Sarah Elkins. The family has extended to great-grandchildren, Hunter Denson, Austin Parrish, Shane Elkins, Cassi Elkins. John’s nieces and nephews include Jamie Donaldson, Chuck Donaldson, Linda Donaldson, Gail Smith, Loris & Randy Lane, Kara Down, Mary Katherine Stroker; in-laws include Bill & Mary Ann Stroker; great nieces and nephews as well as great great nieces and nephews; and others in the community who have called him “Mr. E” or Mr. John” or Granddad. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Clara Frances Donaldson, Alberta Jones, Mary Lou Canedy; brothers-in-law, Jim Donaldson, Tom Jones, Jack Canedy; nieces and nephews, David Donaldson, Ann Donaldson, Shan Donaldson, and Cathy Bea Davis.

His service to the community includes working with Jim Alexander on bringing city water to Clintonville. He has been an active member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from his nursery years led by his mother, Sunday School classes led by Mrs. Hoover, Junior Church led by Mrs. Williams, and C.Y.F. led by Mr. & Mrs. Stone at First Christian Church in Portsmouth, Ohio. These years taught him that Sunday was a special day to be held for Sunday School and Worship. He was taught to always wear his best clothes and that he should shine his shoes and this was the way he learned that church and God were something special. His time of service at Clintonville Christian Church includes teaching Sunday School, Deacon, Elder, Elder Emeritus, Trustee, and Board Chair. While at Clintonville, his service to the wider church included Treasurer for Cane Ridge Meeting House, President of the Regional Christian’s Men’s Fellowship, lead small groups of men to mission work in Pontoosuc IL and Falmouth KY and was a co-founder for the Kentucky Regional Men’s Chorus which began in 1985 and continues strong to this day.

The memorial service for John David Elkins will be at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at Clintonville Christian Church officiated by Rev. Wayne Barnett, and Rev. Chuck Kemp. Inurnment will be in Clintonville Cemetery, and Thompson Cemetery in Lawrence County. A memorial gathering will be Monday evening, April 10, 2023 at Hinton-Turner Funeral Home between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers the family suggest that memorial donations go to Clintonville Christian Church Building Fund, 141 Austerlitz Road, Paris, Kentucky 40361, or The Kentucky Regional Men’s Chorus, 1125 Red Mile Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40504.