James Douglas McElroy

May 20, 1942 ~ December 12, 2020 (age 78)


James D. McElroy, 78, of Bixby, passed away on Saturday, December 12, 2020. Jim's family will host a life celebration when it is safe to gather.

In the meantime, feel free to leave a condolence to Jim's family on his Tribute wall.

Born and raised in Bixby, Oklahoma, James Douglas “Jim” McElroy entered this world on May 20, 1942. The only child of Dolph and Mildred (Ramey) McElroy, Jim was a full-fledged Spartan. He played Spartan football, was co-captain of the football team, and was crowned the Football Homecoming King. Jim also found joy through music. He played coronet in the marching band, but his love of music was mostly demonstrated when he decided to sing a tune. One of the songs his family remembers him singing often was, “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”.

Easy going, laid-back, welcoming, and a man who never met a stranger are all words that have been used to describe Jim. However, “an old cowboy” is how he describe himself. A cowboy at heart, Jim loved all things cowboy and certainly the rodeo scene. In his earlier days he even served as a pickup man/rider assisting bull riders at the rodeo.

As a career, Jim owned and drove a dump truck. He was well-known in this endeavor and practiced his business as a true gentleman. It was said of Jim that he never took a job away from anyone. The truth is Jim didn’t need a lot to be happy. In fact, one of his mottos was “What do you want? Let’s go to a garage sale and see if we can find it!” Garage sales and flea markets were right up Jim’s ally. These hobbies allowed him to practice one of his favorite pastimes – the art of bartering.

It might have been through bartering or simply thriftiness that Jim came across a bundle of silk roses. This was near the time that he met Sandy VanScyoc on the dance floor. Whether it was Jim’s moves or his romantic gesture of giving Sandy one of those faux roses, Jim somehow won her over. Though neither could quite remember their anniversary, they made it a tradition to celebrate their anniversary for an entire week, each year.

Known for finding good and inexpensive places to eat, Jim could sometimes be spotted at a nearby casino. At one of these venues, he could eat until he was full and entertain himself for hours on a penny machine.

The thing that Jim enjoyed most was spending time with his family and his friends. He enjoyed mornings at the donut shop with his friends and family gatherings. (Although, he was known to sleep right through some of those get-togethers). Jim was also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bixby and was a 32nd degree Mason.

Jim will be remembered for a number of things. A few of those include the things he would say. For instance, when someone borrowed something he would normally say, “Don’t bring it back!”. When asked how he was doing, Jim would reply, “I ain’t mad at nobody.” And when he left or when saying bye to someone he would speak the words, “Have a jolly, good day!”

The truth is that Jim made the day brighter and better and he will be deeply missed by his friends and family. Those surviving family members include: his loving wife, Sandy; daughter, Terri McElroy; stepdaughter, Debbie Wuenschel and husband, Peter; stepson, Steve Bodine; grandchildren: Shelby Graves, Phillip Patton, Diedra Wuenschel, Jeremiah Wuenschel, Matthew Wuenschel, Erica Wuenschel, Steven Bodine, Jimmy Bodine, and Tommy Bodine; 16 great-grandchildren; two special cousins that were like his sisters: Colleen Daniels and Kathleen Phillips. He is also survived by numerous cousins and other family members.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Rebecca Patton and his stepson, Tom Bodine.

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