- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2005

James M. McElhatton Sr., a retired commercial pilot and real estate agent, died Sept. 10 after a brief battle with esophageal cancer at a hospital in New Jersey. He was 62.

Mr. McElhatton was raised in Philadelphia, the eldest of the five children of James A. and Rita McCarthy McElhatton. He attended North Catholic High School in Philadephia, where he excelled in baseball. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from LaSalle College.

When he was 15, his father took him on a sightseeing flight of Cape May County, N.J. That short ride inspired Mr. McElhatton to pursue a career in aviation.

After college in 1965, he joined the Navy, training as a pilot and earning the rank of lieutenant. His tour of duty ended in 1970.

Mr. McElhatton then became a commercial airline pilot and flew for Eastern Airlines, the Trump Shuttle and US Airways. His favorite years as a commercial pilot were those spent flying the shuttle out of LaGuardia Airport for US Airways.

He retired from flying in 2003 and teamed up with some friends to work in real estate.

He often said the best day of his life was July 10, 1970, when he met his wife-to-be, Dolores Carey, at Gallagher’s in Avalon, N.J. They married Sept. 11, 1971, and had two children. Recently, they moved to Egg Harbor, N.J.

Friends and family remember him as a quiet, unassuming, caring man with a great sense of humor. Faith, family, friends and the Philadelphia Phillies meant everything to him.

He is survived by his wife, Dolores, of Egg Harbor; a son, James M. McElhatton Jr., a reporter at The Washington Times, and his wife, Jessica, of Alexandria; a daughter, Ann Elizabeth McElhatton of West Palm Beach, Fla.; three brothers, John Barry McElhatton of Vienna, Va., Daniel McElhatton of Philadelphia and Michael McElhatton of Haddon Heights, N.J.; and a sister, Monica McGrath of Philadelphia; and a grandson.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Paul’s Church, 99th Street and Third Avenue, Stone Harbor, N.J. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Seashore Road, Cape May, N.J.

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