Joe Dell Elledge

January 12, 1925 ~ November 16, 2021 (age 96)


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   Joe Dell Elledge, 96, of North Wilkesboro passed away Tuesday, November 16, 2021.  He was born January 12, 1925 in Hays, NC, to Sherman and Della Wiles Elledge.  Joe married the love of his life, Betty Dancy Elledge, on May 21, 1947.   

   Joe was his family’s Captain America.  Like Joe, the comic book character Captain America was a patriotic superhero demonstrating all the qualities of what we now describe “the greatest generation” such as personal responsibility, love of God and country, integrity, service, humility, and commitment.  Joe embodied them all.  He believed in service to his nation and patriotism.  Joe entered the US Navy in 1943 upon his graduation from high school.  He was assigned to the supply ship USS Matar AK-119 where he served in the South Pacific during World War II.   He was proud to be a veteran.

   Upon leaving the Navy, the focus of his service shifted to his family and community.  After his discharge in 1946, Joe continued to demonstrate his life of service and work ethic working in retail at various stores including Spainhour Department Store from which he retired. He was a devoted husband and father, a doting grandfather and great-grandfather, a fun uncle and a co-conspirator of pranks as a brother.  He loved nature, and could often be found fishing with his brother, sons, or nephews.  He spent as much time as possible on the Blue Ridge Parkway and often could be found enjoying picnics with family there.  One of many legacies he passed on to his children and grandchildren was this love of the outdoors.  

   Just as Captain America never tires of fighting off the bad guys, Joe never tired of practical jokes, laughter, and joy.  If you were one of his sons, you may have been squirted with a water gun while mowing the lawn, found a plastic critter in your fruit basket, or unsuspectedly bitten into a caramel-covered potato that you thought was a caramel apple in one of his well-known antics.  If laughter explains longevity of life, it is understandable how Joe became a nonagenarian and lived well into his 90s.  You simply could not be around Joe without experiencing his contagious joy.

   Joe’s source of strength and power was not found in a serum like Captain America.  Rather, Joe would share with anyone who would listen that the source of his strength, joy, and purpose came from Christ.  He was ordained as a deacon in 1962 and faithfully served at Fairplains Baptist Church, Peace Haven Baptist Church, and Journey of Grace Baptist Church.  Quite simply, he was known as a man of God.  He understood that superheroes of the faith are not built by costumes or shields or comic book appearances.  Rather, he strived to be what the Bible describes as a superhero of faith in 1 Timothy 6:11, “Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness, “ and he demonstrated the fruits of the spirit to all that came in contact with him.  

   Joe is survived by his wife, Betty; sons, Steve, Lawrence (Esther) Elledge, and David (Pat) Elledge; grandchildren, Laura Papsun, Kelly (Adrian) McCaslin, and Adam (Tabitha) Elledge; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews whom he loved. In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his sisters, Helen and Brona; brothers, Burleson and Jack; daughter-in-law, Audrey; and granddaughter, Lea Ann.

   Graveside services with military honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1142 will be held Friday, November 19th, 2:00 P.M. at Mountlawn Memorial Park. The Rev. Glenn Dancy, III and Rev. Tim Pruitt will officiate.  The family will receive friends at Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home from 12:30 to 1:30 P.M. prior to the service.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Journey of Grace Baptist Church, Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, or to the donor's choice. 

   Online condolences may be made at


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November 19, 2021

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Reins Sturdivant
270 Armory Road, P.O. Box 1428
Wilkesboro, NC 28659

Graveside Service
November 19, 2021

2:00 PM
Mountlawn Memorial Park
Hwy 18 North
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659


Journey of Grace Baptist Church
PO Box 248, North Wilkesboro NC 28659

Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care
688 Bridge Street, Elkin NC 28621

Donor's Choice

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