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Rev. John W. McElroy Obituary

Rev. John W. McElroy and his twin brother Thomas were born in Norwood, Massachusetts, on November 29, 1930, sons of the late Charles A. and Lillian D. McElroy. After attending Boston College, he entered St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. , MA, and was ordained a priest on February 2, 1956. His first parish assignment was Sacred Heart Church, Newton Center, MA. In 1961, Father Fr. McElroy was commissioned into the United States Navy Chaplain Corps and subsequently assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego, CA. In 1962, after completing his tour with MCRD, Fr. McElroy deployed aboard a ship to the Western Pacific with PHIBRON 3. In 1963, he was released from the active Navy and returned to the Archdiocese of Boston, where he was assigned to St. Timothy’s Church in Norwood, MA. In 1967, he was recalled to active duty in the Navy and immediately deployed for a twelve-month tour with the 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam. He then spent the next 24 years of his active duty Navy career in various assignments serving the spiritual needs of Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Among notable duty stations, he served aboard the Navy’s last heavy cruisers, USS Newport News (CA-148), for three years, including a second tour in Vietnam. He was the first Force Chaplain for the Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, and his final tour of duty was as Command Chaplain, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, where he retired as a Captain in July 1991. Returning to the Archdiocese of Boston, Fr. McElroy served on the Emergency Response Team until 1995, when he was appointed pastor of St. Michael’s Church, Avon, MA. After five years at St. Michael’s, he retired in October 2000 and moved to Palm Coast, Florida. There he was assigned as a weekend associate at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and celebrated Mass as needed at various parishes in the Diocese of Saint Augustine. During his military service, Fr. McElroy received numerous awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star (with Combat V device), the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Ribbon. Fr. McElroy was predeceased by his parents Charles and Lillian McElroy, as well as his older brother Charles and twin brother Thomas. He is survived by his nephew, John McElroy of Virginia Beach, VA; nephew, Michael and wife Tracey McElroy and family of Natick, MA; and his cousin, William McElroy of Westwood, MA. Family and friends will be received Tuesday, April 23 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 4600 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast FL 32164. A Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Fr. McElroy will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Palm Coast. Military honors will be conferred immediately following the funeral mass. In memory of Fr. McElroy’s commitment to his priestly calling asks that in lieu of flowers, the family make donations to: Sisters of Mercy@ Sister Enda Egan4250 A1A South, Unit B12St. Augustine FL 32080-7429 Condolences may be sent to the McElroy family by visiting www.CraigFlaglerPalms.com