Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My Word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” – John 5:24
After courageously fighting a long and difficult battle with multiple sclerosis, John was called home by our Lord on May 13, 2021. In spite of COVID restrictions, his wife, Mary, and daughter, Jen, were allowed to spend time with him in the 3 days leading up to his earthly departure. His son Christopher and family FaceTimed from Cairo, Egypt.His brother Tom was also able to say his goodbye via telephone. From the time he was diagnosed with MS, John never complained or lost his sense of humor.
John was the son of the late Kenneth and Beatrice (Hackworth) Elsasser. He grew up in Marion Ohio. In high school, he played baseball and football. John met his wife Mary at FinanceAmerica (which was a management qualification branch) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Yes, he aced the whole process!) John and Mary were married in 1977 and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where John became a branch manager with FinanceAmerica. While in Indianapolis, he coached a basketball team for troubled teens. Their daughter Jen was born in Beech Grove, Indiana. A promotion led John and his family to move to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he worked at the FinanceAmerica headquarters. While employed there, he played on the company baseball team. In 1985, FinanceAmerica was acquired by Chrysler First, where John worked in the leasing division. A highlight of his career with Chrysler First was meeting Lee Iacocca. In 1987, he was recruited by KeyCorp, and moved his family to Upstate New York, near Albany. During his career, headvanced to various positions, including Senior Vice President, and Executive Vice President.
John was a member of Centerpointe Community Church (formerly Berean Baptist Church), where he attended with his family, and served in various positions. He also served as president of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce, and was on the Guilderland Town Planning Board. John was an avid golfer, and was a member of Pinehaven Country Club. John relished golfing near Lakeside, Ohio with his father Kenneth, father-in-law Eldon, and son Christopher. They also spent many enjoyable hours fishing together on Lake Erie.
John and Jen loved their special time together taking English riding lessons, often re-enacting something funny that had occurred during the lesson. In later years, Jen would sometimes accompany her father to the grocery store, where he was quite the scary speedster on the scooter.
John had a passion for sports, and he attended many Army and Albany arena football games. He was a loyalDallas Cowboys and New York Yankees fan, enthusiastically cheering on his teams. Highlights were attending games at Yankee Stadium and Cowboys (now AT&T) Stadium. He always said, “A loyal fan wears the jersey whether his team wins or loses.”
John had a great sense of humor, and his eyes held a mischievous spark. He was always thinking of some way to play a prank on Jen or Mary. (He once held Mary’s window down through an entire car wash.)
In 2016, John’s health deteriorated, and Mary could no longer care for him at home. He eventually became a resident of Glendale Home in Glenville, New York. During his time there, he greatly savored his special weekly visits with his friend Paul. They had a time of Bible study, fellowship, and fun. John’s mischievousness didn’t end when he went into the nursing home. It continued throughout his time there (Sorry, Nora).
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by his sister Linda Owings and his father-in-law Eldon Sutphin. John is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Mary, his son Christopher (Elizabeth), and daughter Jen. He is also survived by his brother Tom (Brenda), brothers-in-law Doug Owings, Eldon Sutphin, Gary Sutphin, mother-in-law Mary Sutphin, grandchildren Audrey and Madeline, nieces and nephews Jason (Shelby), Dan (Erica), Amy (Josh), Andrew, Cassie, Michelle (Ray), and Heather. Additionally, he is survived by several cousins, great nieces, and nephews, among other relatives.
John’s celebration of life service will be at 1:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Centerpointe Community Church (481 State Route 146, Guilderland Center, NY 12085). Due to COVID, we are requesting that no out-of-town guests attend, and we thank you for your consideration in this matter. Details on how to access the service virtually will be forthcoming.
We would like to thank Pastors Jesse Weber, Larry DiNovo, and Paul Anobile for their loving care, as well as our family and friends, our Centerpointe and GriefShare families, and Jen’s Pitney Bowes family, for their prayers and love. We thank Glendale Nursing Home for the excellent care they provided to John. He made a lot of great friends there, as did we, and they will always be a part of our extended family. We are grateful to the Fredendall Funeral Home for the kindness and compassion they have shown during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. John loved this organization! Please follow the link below.
Gift Funds: John K. Elsasser - St. Jude's Memorial Fund - Gift Funds for St. Jude (stjude.org)