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Obituary Listings

John Elsen III

September 11, 1948 November 17, 2010
John Elsen III
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Obituary for John Elsen III

John Elsen III, 62, of Overlea, Md., a mechanical engineer, who owned a roofing business, died Nov. 15 of injuries from a fall off a roof in North Baltimore. Born on September 11, 1948, in Chicago, the son of John and Virginia Elsen and raised in Evanston, Ill., he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. John moved to Baltimore more than 20 years ago and founded C. Joy Roofers, a business named for his daughter. He had many customers in North Baltimore. "He became a fixture in this neighborhood," said Andrew J. O'Brien, who lives in the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood. "He was more than a roofer. He was a friendly guy. People invited him for a cup of coffee or lunch. He did work beyond the call of duty, and you could count on him guaranteeing his work. His prices were reasonable." John was a Saturday volunteer at the Sandtown Habitat for Humanity. He adopted a Calhoun Street house and renovated it. "John was a gracious, generous man with his time, money, and his willingness to listen," said his son, Stephen Elsen of Asheville, N.C. "He helped many people, family and friends, all over the country. He was a man of integrity and honor. People trusted him. He never stopped helping people even when some people he helped stole from him." His son said he was working on a slate-roofing repair job when he noticed an additional spot on the roof that needed repair. A helper said that the homeowner would never know that they had not addressed the bad spot. "My father said, 'But I would know.'" He replaced the additional slate and never told the homeowner. John enjoyed boating and boat building.

John is lovingly survived by his son, Stephen Elsen of Asheville, N.C.; daughter, Christina Joy Elsen of Weaverville, N.C.; four grandchildren, Liam, Brogan, Behren and Maia; parents, John and Virginia Elsen of Three Lakes, Wis.; four brothers, Andy Elsen of Missoula, Mont., Paul Elsen of Winnebago, Ill., Ed Elsen of San Rafael, Calif., and David Elsen of St. Augustine, Fla.; five sisters, Sylvia Lovett of Minnetonka, Minn., Patsy Hubbard of Northfield, Ill., Kim Klamm of Evanston, Ill., Veegee Elsen of Spooner, Wis., and Carol Elsen of White Water, Wis.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral Information

Service is at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 23, 2010, in Fork Christian Church, 6809 Sunshine Avenue, Kingsville, MD; with visitation from 2:00 p.m. until service time. Graveside service is at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 4, 2010, in Willwood Burial Park, 7000 West State Street, Rockford, IL.

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