John A. McElhinney

April 3, 2015

John A. McElhinney
U.S. Veteran

US Navy

Korean War Veteran

JOHN A. McELHINNEY – of Woburn, Friday, April 3rd. Beloved husband of Eleanor J. (Weafer) McElhinney. Devoted father of Kathleen A. Cantore and her husband William of Hershey, PA, John E. McElhinney and his wife Maureen of Winchester, William J. McElhinney and his wife Cheryl of Woburn, and Paul F. McElhinney and his wife Peggy of Reading. Dear brother of Kevin McElhinney of Ipswich, Peter McElhinney of Flagler Beach FL, and the late Robert McElhinney and Patricia Wunschel. Cherished grandfather of Tom, Katie, and Chrissy Cantore, and Sam, Julia, Sean, Owen, and Patrick McElhinney. Retired from Mass Highway Dept. as a Construction Engineer, District 4 – Arlington. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn on Tuesday, April 7th at 9:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn at 10. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to call at the Funeral Home on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in John’s memory to the GRECC Unit, ATTN: Mary Ellen Riordan, Ward 62CD, at the Bedford VA Medical Center, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730.


John A. McElhinney passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on April 3, 2015. The loving husband of Eleanor (Weafer) McElhinney, he was 84 years old.

Born in Woburn, he grew up in Winchester on Salem Street. He was one of five children of Edward and Lillian (Arrell) McElhinney. Raised and educated there, he was a graduate of the Winchester High School Class of 1948. John continued the family tradition started by his father, Edward, at Tufts University and graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1952. He returned to Tufts to receive a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1970.

In the fall of 1952, John enlisted in the Navy, where he proudly served his country during the Korean War. He was part of the Naval construction battalion and worked building and rebuilding damaged bridges and roadways. Upon his discharge, he began a long and rewarding career with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and retired as a District 4 Construction Engineer. He oversaw the construction of many bridges and roads throughout the state. John also served for a period of time on the Woburn Planning Board.

Soon after John began working, he met his wife Eleanor, who was attending Lowell Teacher’s College. They married in 1956 and moved into the Weafer homestead on Bedford Road in Woburn, where they made their home for 59 years.

John was a devoted family man who loved spending time with Eleanor and their four children and their families. He took great pride in his children’s and grandchildren’s many accomplishments. John had a very strong work ethic, as well as a strong religious faith, which he instilled in his children. He was always ready to help anyone who was in need.

He left a legacy of love of the outdoors with his children and grandchildren. John enjoyed being outdoors as much as possible. Walking, gardening, skiing, golfing, hiking, swimming in the ocean and camping were some of his favorite activities. He enjoyed the family summer camping trips to Sebago Lake and White Lake State Park and the nightly campfires with s’mores and sing-alongs. He was an avid skier and spent many winter skiing vacations at Ascutney Mountain Resort in Vermont with his entire family. It was a real treat for John to teach his grandchildren how to ski and to appreciate the great outdoors. The wonderful “tales from the mountain” are frequently revisited at family gatherings. John believed in taking advantage of every opportunity to do something fun. He often got up early and would set out on a ski trip, beach trip or a long walk around the pond.

When the children were grown, John and Eleanor took some long awaited trips to Ireland, Austria, Italy, and Alaska, where they had many new experiences and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

John was a quiet, faith-filled, and loving son, brother, husband, father and grandfather who has left truly wonderful memories in the hearts of all.

John is survived by his wife Eleanor, his daughter Kathy Cantore and husband Bill of Hershey, PA, his son Jack and wife Maureen of Winchester, MA, his son Bill and wife Cheryl who live next door in Woburn, MA, and his son Paul and wife Peggy of Reading, MA. He was also the proud and devoted grandfather of Tom, Katie and Chrissy Cantore, Sam and Julia McElhinney, Sean and Owen McElhinney and Patrick McElhinney.

John’s siblings Peter McElhinney and his wife Joan of Flagler Beach , FL and Kevin McElhinney of Ipswich, MA also survive him. John is predeceased by his siblings Patricia Wunschel of Scituate, MA and Robert McElhinney of Lakeland, FL.

The funeral will be from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn. Visitation will be on Tuesday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m, followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Charles Borromeo, 280 Main Street at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Monday, April 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, 686 Washington Street, Woburn , MA.

Remembrance may be made in John’s name to the GRECC Unit, Attn.: Mary Ellen Riordan, Ward 62CD, Bedford VA Medical Center, 200 Springs Road, Bedford, MA 01730 or Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472.


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  1. Alan&lori Marrocco To Bill& Family We are very sad to hear of you’re dads passing we have great memories of kids growing up together its amazing how time passes us by.Please take comfort on the memories that have been shared through the years and the comfort that we we all be together in peace in the end. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys at this difficult time until we are all reunited. God bless us all.

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