Local Obits

Obituary of Louis R. Eltscher, III


Louis R. Eltscher III

Born April 12, 1932, Butler, Pennsylvania

Died December 31, 2023, Ithaca, New York

Lou Eltscher was born in Butler, Pennsylvania on April 12, 1932. He attended Houghton College (Houghton, NY), where he met his wife, Carolyn Makey, in the College Choir. They both graduated in 1954, Lou with a degree in history and Carolyn in English, and they were married in August 1954.

They moved to Arlington, Virginia, so that Lou could pursue a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Organization from the School of International Service at American University. He received the degree in 1959, and Carolyn and their two-year-old daughter, Sue, attended the graduation ceremony. Judy was born the following year. Lou always said his daughters “were born in the shadow of the nation’s Capitol.”

The Eltscher family settled in Houghton in 1960. Lou worked as an Assistant to the President in the Office of Public Relations and Development, 1960-63. In 1963, he began his long tenure in the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he taught modern history and political science. He also taught evening classes at Jamestown Community College for several years.

In 1986-1987, Lou was named the Alfred V. Verville Fellow at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, where he did research on the history of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. He was the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles in the fields of German history and aviation history.

In 1994, Lou retired as Professor Emeritus from RIT. By then, Lou and Carolyn had moved to Rochester. They were active members of the Fairport United Methodist Church and also became involved with OASIS, an education and enrichment program for older adults. Lou taught numerous classes at OASIS over twenty years.

Carolyn died in 2015, and the following year Lou moved to Dryden to be near his daughter Judy Malloy and her husband Nicholas Down. He became active in the Dryden United Methodist Church and treasured his involvement there during his final years.

Thanks to his childhood in western Pennsylvania, Lou was a lifelong (and long-suffering) Pittsburgh Pirates fan. It was also during his childhood that he began building and flying model airplanes, a hobby that throughout his life brought him much pleasure and many friendships along with occasional anguish over a crashed plane.

Lou had a deep love of music, especially the music of Mozart. He was a talented trumpeter and possessed a beautiful tenor voice. He sang in choirs all his life, and he and Carolyn sang together all the years of their marriage, both in choirs and performing duets in church.

He was an academic to his core. He read intensively and thought deeply about history and politics. He was driven to learn as much as he could about issues that mattered to him, and that passion for education never left him.

Lou’s profound commitment to his Christian faith informed every aspect of his life. He cared deeply about others’ suffering, served others through his church, shared his resources with those in need, and was unfailingly kind to everyone he encountered.

He loved chocolate, German beer, Earl Grey tea with lots of honey, and a good meatloaf. He loved the beautiful rolling hills of New York State, although he could have done with a little more sunshine. Most of all, he loved his family, and longed to be reunited with Carolyn, the love of his life. We rejoice that they are together at last.

Lou was loved and is mourned by many friends, but by no one more than his daughters, Sue Warrick and Judy Malloy; his sons-in-law, Phil Warrick and Nicholas Down; and his grandsons and granddaughter-in-law, Rob, Tom, and Lexi Warrick.

A celebration of Lou’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on April 13, 2024, at the Dryden United Methodist Church, Dryden, New York. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations in Lou’s memory can be made to the Dryden United Methodist Church, 9 East Main Street, Dryden, NY 13053 .

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