Don McElwee

August 29, 1937 ~ March 11, 2022 (age 84)


Donald “Don” McElwee Sr, 84, of St. Joseph passed away Friday, March 11th at Carle Hospital, surrounded by family. 

Don was born August 29th, 1937 to Claude and Helen (Trees) McElwee at Burnham Hospital in Champaign, IL. He grew up living with his family at the Tipton elevator, where his father ran the elevator for many years. He often talked about he and his twin brother, Ron, lighting the fire in their one room school house for heat, just down the road from where they lived. After graduating from St. Joseph-Ogden High School in 1955, he went on to grow a love for carpentry and was the lead carpenter for Colbert’s Kitchens for many years. He eventually started his own company McElwee’s Custom Cabinets and Countertops.
He wed the love of his life, Evelyn (Miller) McElwee, May 18th, 1958, going on to have 3 children, Robert, Julie and Buddy. 
After retiring you could find Don tinkering in his garage workshop and spending time with his family, friends and cat - Achmed. He had a smile for everyone he met and he never met a stranger. The words most associated with Don are kind, sweet, generous, funny and loving. 

Don was predeceased by both parents; beloved wife, Evelyn McElwee; son, Robert McElwee; sister, Marilyn Hamer and son-in-law, John Kuhn.

He is survived by his two children, Julie Kuhn and Buddy (Faith) McElwee and twin brother Ronald “Ron” McElwee. Also surviving are his 7 grand children, Ashley McElwee, Jenny (Drew) Howe, Tyler McElwee, Josh (Kiersten) Kuhn, Jason Kuhn, Abbey McElwee and Molly (Austin) Hedrick; and 8 great grandchildren, Kylee, Charlie, Keagan, Brinley, Kennedy, Kane, Johnathan and Kinsley. 

For those wanting to join, the funeral procession will leave Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave. St. Joseph at approximately 12:30 P.M. Sunday with Graveside services to be held at 1:00 PM at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Sidney; a celebration of life will follow immediately after at the Sidney Community Building.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to the Don McElwee Kolb Park Memorial fund at Longview Bank in St. Joe.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Don McElwee, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
March 20, 2022

1:00 PM
Mt. Hope Cemetery

Celebration of Life
March 20, 2022

7:00 PM
Sidney Community Building

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