Arthur W. Elkins, one of the pillars of our community, passed away on February 20, 2019 at the Mountain View Living Center at the VA hospital. Art Elkins served as City Clerk-Treasurer for the City of Sheridan for 36 years. His life was full of service to his country, his community, his church, and his family. He will be greatly missed.
Arthur Winston Elkins was born on June 6, 1941 in Norwood, Massachusetts, the only son of A. Gordon and Irene Elkins. He attended school in Norwood, graduating from high school in 1959. He chose to attend Northeastern University in Boston and graduated with honors in 1964, with his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During his college years he was a Junior Staff Accountant for Spark & Mann Company. During that time one of his jobs was to work with the New England Patriots, who were just becoming a NFL team. He has been a great fan ever since, much to his daughter’s chagrin.
After completing his college work he enlisted in the United States Air Force and attended officer candidate school. When he completed nuclear munitions officer training at Ft. Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, CO he was assigned to Phalsbourg AFB in Phalsbourg, France and RAF Wethersfield, England. Then he was sent to Nakhon Phamom RTAB, Thailand during the Vietnam Era as a weapons loading officer. During these years he was able to travel a great deal his in spare time.
Back stateside Art was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, MT where he became a missile launch officer. He fully intended to make the Air Force his career, but after two years underground in a missile launch silo he decided to change his career path.
Art was always a numbers man and when he was reading a Great Falls newspaper, he saw an ad for the job of City Clerk Treasurer in Sheridan, Wyoming. When he flew over the Big Horn Mountains, he knew he wanted the job. He assumed the title of City Clerk Treasurer, one he held for 36 years.
During this time, however, he decided he might like to return to big city life, so he took a job as auditor with the United States Department of Housing Urban Development in Washington, D.C. Although he enjoyed traveling quite a bit for the job, the Big Horns were calling again and Art was able to return to the job in Sheridan. As providential as it might be, within three months he met the love of his life on a blind date and he and Margie Snedden were married on October 15, 1977.
They were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Jennifer Erin in 1978 and their son Justin Ryan in 1980.
While serving as City Clerk Treasurer he was a member of WAMCAT, the Wyoming Association of Municipalities Clerks and Treasurers and served on the Board of Directors. In addition, he was a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. He and his family traveled to many conventions of these groups.
Kiwanis was very important to him and he was a faithful member for many years taking part in all of their activities. He served in many offices and was named a Past Distinguished President. His favorite job was being involved in the Kiwanis “Stars of Tomorrow” talent show. He served as the Chairman of the show for several years.
Art’s faith was very important in his life and the Presbyterian Church is where he worshipped. He taught Sunday School and became an Elder of the church. He served as head of the Budget and Finance Committee for several years and later he served as Clerk of Session. His biggest job was being elected Treasurer of the Wyoming Presbytery.
Art loved the mountains and when he became a Papa to his first grandson, Carter, he couldn’t wait to take him, like his own children, fishing at Sibley Lake. Being a “Papa” was probably the “frosting on the cake” for Art. Two more grandsons, Cameron and Cole followed and Papa was the greatest chauffeur to all of them. In 2010 his first granddaughter, Andriana, entered the scene and, although she lived in Connecticut, he enjoyed her visits and phone chats so much. After 8 years another granddaughter, Zoey, was born, who he delighted in seeing pictures of and facetiming with.
Although he lived in Sheridan for about fifty years, Art was the quintessential New Englander, honest, soft spoken and stoic. He loved the Patriots, the Celtics, and the Bruins. He was of course a passionate Red Sox fan which his youngest grandson, Cole, shared with him. Art was thrilled to be able to watch this past World Series with Cole and share in celebrating their victory with him, something Cole will cherish.
Art’s other pastimes included golfing, fishing, and traveling, and being on his iPhone almost 24/7 just like a teenager! Art was a very intelligent man and up to the last minute he was Googling to learn all he could. He loved the Weather Channel and watched it loyally up to his last day, checking in on the weather that his son would travel in to see him one last time.
When he was asked to tell of one of his most memorable moments, without hesitation he said it was his and Margie’s trip to Macedonia for Justin and Marija’s wedding. Meeting Marija’s family and seeing the beautiful country were very memorable to him.
Art was a warrior for years against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Only in the last few weeks would he give in and admit he was very ill and would not get better.
In the end, Art was a stalwart of the community held in the highest regard by all he encountered who will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
Art was preceded in death by his father, A. Gordon Elkins and mother Irene Stewart Elkins. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Margie; daughter Jeni (Brad) Steidley; son Justin (Marija) Elkins of Trumbull, CT; and grandchildren Carter, Cameron, and Cole Steidley, and Andriana and Zoey Elkins. He is also survived by his faithful dog, Parker, and cats Sasha and Carly Jo.
The family would like to thank the Sheridan VAMC and staff at the Mountain View Living Center for their professional and compassionate care during the last days of Art’s life.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, April 15, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Paul Hayden officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church – Youth Programs, 2121 Colonial Dr., Sheridan, WY 82801 or the Sheridan 2nd Chance Cat Rescue, 305 Broadway, Sheridan, WY 82801.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.