John Elwell passed away on May 12, 2021 in Delray Beach, Florida.

John was born John Charles Elwell, Sept. 19, 1932 in Long Beach, California. The Elwell Family purchased two lots in 1939 from the John D Speckles Company on E Avenue and moved to Coronado in 1941 after his father, John Sr., retired from active duty from the US Navy for the first time, but was later called up for active duty during World War II.

John was a Boy Scout, athlete, San Diego County lifeguard, surfer, diver, sailor, skier, educator, writer, photographer, philosopher, story teller, surf historian, and world traveler. John was active duty in the U.S. Navy; he was on submarine USS Blackfin and USS Queenfish, during the Korean War and a member of the Navy wrestling team.

John is preceded in death by his parents John R. and Anne W. Elwell and younger brother Russell (1934-2019). John is survived by his former wife, Clara Cain; and children Kristen, Kimberly, Sarah, and Timothy; he was grandfather to Michael, Adrian, Ailah, and Claire.

John has always lived on, in, under, and near the water.

His was a life well lived.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made “In Memory of John Elwell” to either the Coronado Surfing Association, P.O. Box 180054, Coronado, CA 92178 or the California Surf Museum, 312 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054.



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