Leroy B. Elwell, 81 of Canton, passed away suddenly on Friday March 31, 2023, at the Inspira Medical Center of Elmer.
Leroy was born February 15, 1942, to Emma L. Elwell at the Bridgeton Hospital. He was a man of many trades, learning from those he came by and knew growing up. As a young boy he worked alongside Bill, Frank, and Harold Trullender farming. He started playing guitar at the age of 7. His love of music and flat track motorcycle racing would take him many places. At the age of 16 he started working at the JCPenney’s in Bridgeton. It was at that time along with his mom working two jobs that they were able to purchase their first car. As a teenager he was active playing music with Calvin Hill at many functions, helped organize the first L.A.C. Ruritan Club, and he was active in the Canton Baptist Church singing and playing music. He purchased his first motorcycle at this time as well and started traveling up and down the East coast racing professionally on flat tracks. There are old films out there somewhere of his many races.
When racing came to an end he jumped back into music. His first band was the Burden Hill Three which consisted of Bub Wright as drummer and Howdy Harris on guitar (rhythm). His second band was The Woodsmen with Andy and Danny Shelton (Andy drummer, Danny bass guitar) and Howdy guitar (rhythm ) with Leroy as lead guitarist and singer along with Andy and Danny singing. They were well known especially at the Boots and Saddle Riding Club in Quinton. Saturday nights was the big night, and tables were packed. The band played for Weddings, Christmas parties and many other occasions.
It was on a Saturday night while driving up and down Broadway in Salem that he noticed and met his future wife Marion. They started dating and married on January 7, 1967 at the Quinton United Methodist Church. They made their home in Stow Creek beings at the time Leroy started working at Leslie G. Fogg, Inc.. While living in Stow Creek their first child Todd Lee Elwell was born on October 16, 1967. Leroy and Marion would purchase their first home in Canton and would have their second child Lori Lynn Elwell on May 13, 1970. As the 70’s moved along so would the band. Leroy would leave Les Fogg’s and begin work at the Lower Alloways Creek Township Road Garage and start his own tire business. Leroy was responsible for many projects being built throughout the township while being foreman of buildings and grounds. He was a wonderful carpenter building many things and drew plans and built the cabinet along with his coworkers that is in the log Cabin. He also was a part of the work that was done with the restoring of the Cabin itself. He was involved with the local Tri-County Softball League having his own team The Canton Tire Store, which many men from Canton and near by played on. Leroy and Marion were founding members of the L.A.C. Youth League. Leroy was also a former member of the L.A.C. School board. When he retired from the township he was involved with his son’s Microsprint Racing, Elwell Racing for the 19T. Winning two championships. He also played music again having his daughter sing in his last band. He was always active, especially with family. He worked side by side with his son for Kut-it-Lawncare which was his Son’s business. Family was everything to him. He loved deeply and compassionately. He is and will be missed so very much but, we know he is where he wanted to be and that is with his son Todd.
His hearing is perfect, his knee too and most of all his Heart, his Big loving heart is no doubt awaiting to see Jesus when that day comes and we all will rise up to heaven. It must be told as well that he could ride a bicycle backwards and tell a joke or story a time or two. Laughter was a huge part of his life, so if something makes you laugh, please think of him, he’ll be laughing with you. Leroy is survived by his wife of 56 years Marion ( Stoms ) Elwell, daughter Lori Lynn Harris ( Richie ) and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his Mother Emma L. Elwell, son Todd Lee Elwell, Father and Mother-n-law Edgar and Juanita Stoms, as well as his Brother-n-law and wife, Glendon Lee Stoms and Jeanette Diver Stoms.
Services will be held 11:00 AM, Thursday, April 6th in WOODSIDE FUNERAL HOME, 613 Salem Quinton Rd., Salem, NJ 08079 (Quinton Twp.) where friends may visit from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. Burial will be Cohansey Baptist Church Cemetery, 714 Roadstown Rd., Bridgeton, NJ 08302.
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