Medina High School Alumni

Medina, New York (NY)

Alumni Stories

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John W. McElwain

Class of 1959

I am honored to recommend John W. McElwain as a recipient to the Medina High School Distinguished Alumni Award.
John recently died and left among us all his legacy for devotion and dedication to his family, friends, and community. He was a 1959 graduate of Medina High School and enlisted in the Navy immediately. He proudly served his country from 1959-1963. While in the Navy, John became a journeyman electrician which allowed him to set up his own business, McElwain Electric, for four years in Medina.
John’s loyalty to his town and school produced a job as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds for the Medina Central School District. This led to employment with New York State Department of Corrections and the VA WNY Medical Center in Batavia, NY.
While John was very busy working for the school district and the state he managed to be involved with local organizations. John took great pride in volunteering with the Special Friends of Albion, helping to project a positive environment and image to young people in need. This venture earned him the ARC’s “Best Friend Award”.
The Lion’s Club most likely never had a more dedicated member than John McElwain. He proudly proclaimed his association with the Lion’s and was tireless when it came to volunteering for any or all Lion’s activities. He initiated the Lion’s S.E.E. program in this area and also served as President of this organization. His dedication was awarded with the “Melvin Jones Fellowship Award”.
Children were an extreme priority with John which resulted in his lifelong scouting and Scout Master of Troop 28. He traveled to New Mexico to attend the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron and received the Order of the Arrow Award.
Taking pride in Medina, his hometown, John was very involved with the decorating of State Street Park each Christmas season. He organized and chaired the venture each season with endless energy. John designed and installed the Advent Wreath that is part of the park’s Christmas program to this day. He served as a member of the Decorate Medina Committee.
John continued to demonstrate pride in his country by being an active member of Butts-Clark Post #204, American Legion.
He applied his electrician’s skills to the Habitat for Humanity as well to his friends who didn’t hesitate to call him in a moment of need.
All the factual information stated above simply gives an account of John’s life. Straying from the facts, I would like to stress that John was not a complex man. He had a mission in life and that was helping others. Being proud of his heritage and local roots, John shared his talents and loyalty to all whom encountered him. I stated in his eulogy that John did not do random acts of kindness, he did constant acts.
I recommend John McElwain to be among the Distinguished Alumni of Medina High School because he exemplified what a true citizen is and how important is to give back to your community. In a world that seems to place a priority on status, physical appearance, salaries, and more…John’s life exemplified humbleness, dedication, and love of his family, friends, and hometown…Medina. It’s a lesson so many people of all ages still needs to learn and practice.

Submitted by Mary Woodruff

Please note that I am traveling right now and unable to attach anything you have mentioned in your instructions. I have submitted my cell phone number so you can contact me and I will verify all that you need to have John considered for this award. thank you.

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