Stephen Bruce McElroy

Stephen Bruce McElroy went home to be with the Lord on April 27, 2024 at 2:40pm at the tender age of 76. He was born on June 10, 1947 in Bowie, Texas to Francis “Mac” & Lucille McElroy. He was the older brother of Patricia Grasse. He graduated in 1965 from South Oak Cliff High School. He attended the University of Texas at Arlington the following year where he joined the Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. He had loads of fun with his Fraternity brothers including his future brother-in-law and partner in crime, Thom Gamble. During this time at UTA, he also met the love of his life, Eleta. Stephen’s patriotic nature inspired him in 1967 to join the U. S. Air Force joining the Vietnam conflict. Sustaining a world-class long-distance relationship between Texas and W. Germany, he finally popped the question. She said yes, and they were married in 1969.

After the wedding, they moved to West Germany where he was stationed. Their first daughter, Jennifer, was born a year later. In 1971, they returned to the States. The family moved to Houston settling down in a suburb called Genoa. The family joined the Genoa United Methodist Church where Stephen was a lifetime member. He transferred into the Air Force National Guard at Ellington AFB. During that time, he personally guarded Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Sr., during Presidential visits to NASA. During these early years Steven and Eleta welcomed their only son, J. F. Erich. Three years later, they welcomed their second daughter, Kathleen.

During his kids’ childhood, he was an active member of the Boy Scouts of America & Explorer Post. Activities in these two societies led to a continued family interest in Native American history and activities. This interest culminated in an active leadership role with the Gulf Coast Tia Piah Indian Society. Stephen also volunteered his time annually to the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon where he made numerous lifetime friends.

Stephens’ Air Force career spanned from Vietnam to Desert Storm and then into Reserve Duty. His commitment to the USAF spanned 33 years. He retired having achieved the rank of Master Sargent. Stephen spent his last few working years as a Police Officer and later in the billing office with the Houston Veterans Hospital.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Lucille McElroy, and his wife Eleta McElroy. He leaves behind his sister and brother-in-law Patricia and Kevin Grasse. His three children and their spouses, Jennifer and Michael Hamlin, J. F. Erich and Laura McElroy, and Kathleen Ingersoll. Seven Grandchildren, Kyle, Dean, and Megan Hamlin, Aiden, Eleanor, Byron, and Patrick McElroy.

Memorial Service to be held on June 15, 2024 at 10am. Location: Genoa United Methodist Church 12501 Palmsprings Drive, Houston, TX 77034. Graveside at Houston National Cemetery will be on June  14 ,2024 at 2:30pm.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Gulf Coast Tia Piah c/o Roanna Cornett, Treasurer, 2309 Lees Court, League City, TX 77573.


  1. I served with MSGT. McElroy at Ellington ANGB from 1982-1995?, and he was a great supervisor. I will always remember Stephen B. McElroy. I used to live on the same street, On Palmsprings. RIP DEFENDER. Prayers for all.

    Alex DeLeon
  2. I served with Msgt Mcelroy from 1975-1995?? He was a Patriot!

    Lynn Peters
  3. I served with Steve in the 147th, from 1981 until his retirement. He was an asset to the unit and a true friend to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed. I pray that his family finds peace which passes all understanding.

    Until we meet again in Heaven

    Jerry Johnson, CMsgt (retired)
  4. Very sad to learn of Steve McElroy’s passing. I first met him when I enlisted in the unit in 1978. He really loved the 147th. Another one of the Old Guard has passed. Blessings to his family and friends in this time of sorrow.

    Mark Setterberg

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