Jesse Elks

Published 10:32 am Friday, September 15, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Edenton — Jesse Lee Elks, 81, born to Roy L. and Retha P. Elks on December 14, 1941, in Chocowinity, NC, departed from this world on September 13, 2023 to his heavenly home. Jesse was often late to events in his life, a habit that started early; he was 6 minutes behind his twin sister Tessie (Jimmy Hudson). His family grew with the addition of brothers Eugene (Maxalyn), Phillip, and sister, Mary (Danny Fleming, Carlos Woolard). 

He fell in love with the most beautiful brown eyed girl he had ever seen, and on September 17, 1961, he made Carol Mclawhorn his wife and gained Bobbie M. Tilghman as a sister-in-law. His family continued to grow with the addition of his daughter Sheri and son Robert (Sabrina). Later there was another growth spurt with grandsons Joshua (Kaylene Young), Jacob (Grace), Dawson, Daniel Woolard, and Hagen Morris. Jesse was also blessed with great grandsons Dallas Woolard and Conner Kidwell, and special daughters Jennifer Blaine and Margy Fuson. 

Some of the family members that left this world ahead of him were his wife of 31 years, Carol, his parents Roy and Retha, father and mother-in-law R. Payne and Ester Mclawhorn, twin sister Tessie Hudson Clark, and brothers-in-law Danny Fleming, Jimmy Hudson and Delmar Tilghman. 

Jesse never met a task he couldn’t complete (as long as the task was one he wanted to tackle and only with Dairy Palace coffee in hand). He loved working on anything and mastered most everything including tractors, business machines, guns, electronics and probably his first love, outboard motors. He also had a fond dislike of computers. He liked fishing especially if it led to working on the boat motor. After Carol was taken from him, he dove into building, from scratch with no formal drawn plans, a replica of an 1898 Ford Runabout. He enjoyed driving his Ford in parades but mostly enjoyed riding people in it at the Eastern Antique Power Club show. He retired from East Carolina University where he serviced business machines until they were phased out by the cursed computers, then in CIS and communications. After retiring from ECU, he continued teaching outboard motor repair at Beaufort County Community College, finally ending that 25-year passion when he was 70. 

A special thank you to all the ladies in the Edenton area who helped care for him while in his son and daughter-in-law’s home, and the staff at Edenton House who all treated him and his family with love, care, and respect for the last 3 months while he battled Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. 

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, September 30th, at 4:00 pm in Hodges Chapel Church, 540 Carrow Rd., Chocowinity, NC 27817. 

Memorials may be made to Hodges Chapel Church or to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011. 

Online condolences may be made by visiting