John “Jack” Sherman Elledge, 88, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at Wilkes Regional Medical Center.
He was born to Della Wiles Elledge and Sherman Elledge in Hays on Sept. 24, 1932. He graduated from North Wilkesboro High School, Lees McRae College and East Tennessee State University with a science degree. He did post graduate study at Duke University and studied geology at Ohio State University in Ephraim, Utah. He was a science teacher and assistant principal at East Wilkes High School and director of Wilkes County Social Services for 10 years. He received a commendation for saving the life of a student when he was a teacher. He was a lifelong member of Mountain View Baptist Church and a deacon.
He met his beloved wife, Geraldine “Gerry” Haynes Elledge on a blind date at the hospital where she lived and worked as nurse. The couple married in 1956, and lived on Haymeadow Road in Hays. The couple raised four children, John “Johnny” Sherman Elledge Jr., Martha Carol Elledge, Elizabeth “Beth” Haynes Elledge Gossett and Amy Maria Elledge. He was the beloved grandfather of eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Among Jack’s many hobbies over the years, he had a large collection of rocks, minerals, fossils and gems. He practiced lapidary and made jewelry. As a boy and adult he collected arrowheads and other native American artifacts. In 2019, he loaned this collection to Wilkes Heritage Museum for permanent display. He had a large flower and vegetable garden and maintained an orchard of cherry, peach and apple trees, figs and grapes. He made fudge and fruitcakes at Christmas for gifts. He traveled to 47 states and to Mexico and made many trips to the beach, the Great Smoky Mountains area and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Jack was well known as a skilled freshwater and saltwater fisherman who caught thousands of fish over a span of over 80 years. He fished several weeks at Cape Lookout National Seashore. His last fish was caught in June 2019, on the Elk River, the largest trout he had ever caught. In addition to fishing and traveling, his most favorite activity of retirement was the food and fellowship at the cafe in Mountain View. He grew up eating his meals in Mountain View where his parents ran a store and cafe, and in his later years, he was often accompanied to the cafe and at home by his constant companion, his Jack Russell terrier, Zorro, and his loving and loyal dog, Ace. He was known for his sense of humor and practical jokes. He loved his family, church family, neighbors, co-workers, cafe friends at Bob’s and then at Sandra’s Snackbar, fishing partners and the community of Mountain View.
Jack Elledge was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine; parents, Sherman and Della; sisters, Helen and Brona; brother, Burleson; and daughter, Amy Maria Elledge.
He is survived by his brother, Joe Elledge, and sister-in-law Betty; son, John “Johnny” Sherman Elledge Jr. and daughter-in-law Ellen “Ellie” Koch Elledge; daughters, Martha Carol Elledge, and Elizabeth “Beth” Haynes Elledge Gossett and son-in-law Jason Gossett; grandchildren, Jacob Gabel (Kristal), Cody Gabel (Ashley), Candace Gabel Nelson (Tony), Jessie Gabel, Caleb Gossett, Connor Elledge, Tristan Elledge, and Aden Gossett (Leandra); eight great-grandchildren and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
The family thanks all of his nurses, doctors, and other medical staff for their wonderful care; Antonia González Rodríguez and Maria Greene for their loving assisted living care; and all the thoughts and prayers of friends, neighbors, co-workers and church members.