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May 20, 2019 2:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Howard McElroy Dies March 21

May 21, 2019 12:41 PM

Howard McElroy died, surrounded by loved ones, of complications due to cancer in Warminster, Pennsylvania, on March 21, 2019. He was 84.

Howard Michael McElroy was born May 21, 1934, at Southampton Hospital, the oldest son of Howard J. McElroy of Somerville, Massachusetts, a commercial radio operator and union organizer, and Ella (Pidt) McElroy of Bremen, Germany, a homemaker. He attended Southampton High School, earning a regent’s diploma in 1951. At Harvard University he earned an NROTC scholarship and a bachelor’s degree in government.

He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Stationed in Japan, he returned to the U.S. on home leave in 1957 and met and married another Southampton native, Susan Bennett. He subsequently served in the Mediterranean and at Quantico, Virginia, before resigning his commission as a captain in 1960 in order to join the U.S. Foreign Service.

His diplomatic career spanned more than a quarter of a century. He and his family were posted overseas to the Bahamas, Yokohama, Okinawa (twice) and Tokyo (twice). He was particularly proud of the part he played in forging the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Japan. Career highlights included his work on the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, his service as an inspector for the Department of State and his role as chief civilian observer of the multinational Sinai Peacekeeping Force.

He retired to Southampton in 1984, served on the Southampton Village Zoning Appeals Board, worked as village administrator from 1988 to 1996 and supported several local charitable organizations. In 2007, he and his wife relocated to Ann’s Choice Retirement Community in Warminster.

He loved dogs, history, photography, golf, baseball, music, ham radio, long hikes and ice cream. In retirement, he was a passionate supporter of political campaigns. Above all he loved his country, his hometown, his friends and his family. From 1993 until his last day, he excelled as a full-time grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Susan (Bennett) McElroy of Warminster; two children, Michelle McElroy of New Jersey and Matthew McElroy of Virginia; and his five grandchildren, who called him “Papa,” Nick, Ella, Liam, Emma and Aaron.

He was predeceased by his parents and his two siblings, Ted and Leora McElroy, also of Southampton.

A private service is planned.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

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What a great human being. Had the privilege of working with Howard, and
getting to know him well. A tremendous mind, and kind compassionate
Man. My deepest sympathy to Sue and his family. May God Bless him.
By Jimion (124), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 6:09 PM
What a great human being. Had the privilege of working with Howard, and
getting to know him well. A tremendous mind, and kind compassionate
Man. My deepest sympathy to Sue and his family. May God Bless him.
By Jimion (124), Hampton Bays on May 21, 19 6:09 PM