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John “Johnny” L. McElyea

John “Johnny” L. McElyea, of Camp Joy Road, Zionville, entered in to eternal rest on Tuesday afternoon, February 28, 2017, at the Watauga Medical Center surrounded by his family and friends. Born September 13, 1947, he was a son of the late John Lee and Viola Christie McElyea. Johnny proudly served four years in the United States Navy as an aircraft mechanic. Johnny served on the USS Ticonderoga in Vietnam. After his service in the U.S. Navy, Johnny made a career of being a truck driver.   For many years Johnny loved to participate in Civil War reenactments with his sons, Shawn and Chris, and their friends.  Johnny was a history buff, especially of the Civil War era, and enjoyed collecting memorabilia. Johnny was known for his wonderful sense of humor and his love of being with his family and friends. Johnny loved his sons and grandsons with a passion few people could understand.

He is survived by his wife Barbara (Hagaman) McElyea, two sons: Shawn McElyea and Jessica Arney of Johnson City, Tennessee, and Christopher McElyea and Anne Marie Tufo of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; two grandsons: Tyler Dickens and Christopher Dickens; sister: Carolyn (McElyea) Roberts and husband Delmar (Sonny)Roberts of Mountain City, Tennessee. Sisters-in-law Margaret (Peggy) Sipe and Mayselle Hagaman of Zionville, North Carolina, Janice Ritenour and husband Donald Ritenour of Charlottesville, Virginia; Brothers-in-law Jerry Hagaman and wife Robin Hagaman of Johnston, South Carolina; David Hagaman of Beaver Dam, North Carolina; Terry Hagaman and wife Sherry Hagaman or Mooresboro, North Carolina. Johnny is also survived by many nieces and nephews and close friends who he loved and enjoyed. In addition to his parents, In addition to his parents Johnny was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Nellie Hagaman, his father-in-law, John Hagaman, his brother Erwin McElyea, his brothers-in-law, Royce Hagaman, James Hagaman and Jack Hagaman, his sister-in-law Betty Hagaman Greear, his niece Melissa Hagaman Padgett and his nephew Shannon Hagaman.

Funeral services for John “Johnny” L. McElyea will be held Thursday, evening, March 2, 2017 at Austin & Barnes Funeral Home Chapel. Officiating will be Rev. Ray Sipe. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 6 until 7 o’clock at the funeral home. Graveside services and burial with military honors provided by American Legion Post 130 will be conducted Friday morning at 10 o’clock at the Old Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Old Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery Fund in care of Becky Ballew, 1512 Silverstone Road, Zionville, or to the Grace of God Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 212, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.

Online condolences may be shared with the McElyea family at

Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the McElyea family.