Eli's Story

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Eli John Gholson, 78, of Rosewood Heights, East Alton, passed away early Monday, March 2, 2015. He was born in Mayberry Township, near Broughton, to the late James Everett and Ethel (Heard) Gholson. John is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan (Braddy) Gholson, whom he deemed the “best woman in the world.” He is also survived by daughter Penny (Gholson) Pease; daughter Debbie (Gholson) Clendenny and spouse Ronald Clendenny; four grandchildren, Zachary Pease, Rachel (Pease) Wineinger and spouse Samuel Wineinger, Dashiell Clendenny and Tycho Clendenny; one brother, James Gholson; two sisters, Emma Lou (Gholson) Smith and Brenda (Gholson) Vinyard and spouse Dennis Vinyard; and great-grandchildren Elisandro Pease and Claire Lessard. In addition to his parents he was prededed in death by a  sister, Evelyn Bridewill. John retired from Laclede Steel, where he was a proud member and held multiple offices in the United Steelworkers of America Local 3643. In the 1960s, he owned Daytona Model Raceway in Wood River, a local hobby shop with a slot car racetrack that he designed and built with the help of his friends. He was a member of the East Side Computer Club. He loved mushroom hunting with his brother, tending his ducks and chickens, studying the Bible and discussing gardening and current events. John was very creative and had enough hobbies that he never felt bored. John loved studying genealogy and attending Broughton Days. He created a web page several years ago to post announcements about the village of Broughton, and it grew into a full-blown history site over the next few years. He was a self-taught web master and was very proud to have created the website his own way. He and his brother welcomed information and pictures from others who visited the site, and were very grateful for the support. All of his webpages, as well as his brother’s, can be found through the “Gholson Brothers Pages” site, which you can find with Google. Running a website, being active in the union, and owning a store all gave John the opportunity to do something that he loved to do: talk with people. John loved connecting with people, and he believed that every person should be appreciated. He also believed that committing an act of kindness for someone else was the most important thing a person could do each day. No matter how small, any act of kindness done to make another person’s day even a little bit better was worthwhile. His love for friends and family was genuine, and they will miss him dearly. His final act of kindness was the donation of his body to Washington University Medical School. A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held May 9, 2015, at Rosewood Heights General Baptist Church, 166 Airline Dr., East  Alton. The service will be from noon to 1 p.m. with Pastor Dan Smith officiating, followed by food and visiting until 3 p.m. Please add this date to your calendar and join us in May.
Published on  March 23, 2015
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