John C. Elderkin passed away peacefully on March 24, 2020, at the age of 87. John was born April 22, 1932 in Walton, to parents Herbert and Iris (Constable) Elderkin. After graduating from Walton High School in 1950, John attended Cornell University, where he received a degree in Agriculture. He married his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth (Betsy) Hume, on July 22, 1956. They raised two sons, John and Joel, and two daughters, Jan and Judy.
John was a beloved agriculture teacher at Walton Central School for 15 years. He later became principal at DCMO BOCES Harrold Campus for an additional 17 years. During his tenure as an educator, he was actively involved in FFA and mentored many students. When he wasn’t teaching, John worked with a crew of local teenagers and friends to plant over one million trees in the local region. He was an active member of Lion’s Club for 35 years, served on the Walton Fire Department for over 30 years, was on the Delaware County Fair Board, and was an active member at the United Presbyterian Church in Walton.
John retired in 1990, but continued to live an active life. He and his wife, Betsy, traveled extensively throughout the United States, visiting all 50 states, as well as traveling to several other countries. In 1994, John began selling Christmas trees across from More Park. He planted and sold thousands of Christmas trees for the next 25 years. He enjoyed hunting, and was an active member of the Walton Mountain Sportsmen Club. He spent his free time completing puzzles, gardening, reading extensively, and spending time with his friends and loved ones. He could often be found singing and loved to dance. His grandchildren enjoyed making cinnamon rolls and homemade ice cream with him each holiday. He was known for his friendly smile, good humor, and calming presence.
John is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Hume) Elderkin; his children, John Elderkin (Amy) of Royce City, Texas, Jan Elderkin (Rick White) of Albany, Joel Elderkin (Camilla) of Niota, Tenn., and Judy Ogden (Todd) of Walton; sisters Pauline Claire and Phyllis Howe; grandchildren, Celicia Pinnock (Clive), Duane Elderkin, Christopher Ogden, Beth Ogden, Iris Lansing (Joseph), Heather Ogden, Jacqui White, Justin Williams (Laura), and Tyler Williams; and great-grandchildren Michael Negron, Joel Bockstruck, and Tyler Bockstruck; and many nieces and nephews.
John was predeceased by his parents and sisters Jacqueline Baird and Barbara Shields.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the United Presbyterian Church, 58 East Street, Walton.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Courtney Funeral Home, Walton. To leave a message for John’s family, visit www.courtneyfh.com.