Joseph Elowsky, a longtime resident of Plainview who owned a manufacturing company in Bethpage, always did the right thing, Marsha Elowsky, his wife of almost 64 years, said.
“He was kind and sweet and good and helpful to everyone,” she said, adding her husband hired people with special needs to work at his manufacturing business, drove senior citizens to shopping and medical appointments after he retired, and helped craft wood toys for the Toys for Tots program.
Elowsky died of complications from the coronavirus on March 21 at Syosset Hospital. He was 85.
June would have marked the couple's 64th wedding anniversary, his wife said.
Before he retired, Elowsky was the president of the Ajax Wire Specialty Co. in Bethpage, which manufactured of all types of small springs used in devices ranging from locks to cots.
His hiring of people with special needs from local school programs was typical of his personality, Marsha Elowsky said.
“His patience and love charmed all [those employees], and even after they graduated and moved on, they returned periodically with spouses and children just to say ‘Hi,’“ she said.
The couple began dating at Brooklyn College, in the New York City borough where they both grew up. She said that after their first date, she came home and told her mother that he was “the last guy that I would ever marry.”
But her future husband persisted in going out with her, until she finally realized that he was the man for her, she said.
The couple married after they graduated college, and they lived in Virginia, where he spent two years in the Army. After that, he entered the family business, eventually buying the spring company and becoming its president.
Elowsky retired about 20 years ago and became active, practically full time, as a nonpaid volunteer in community activities. His nonstop efforts won Elowsky numerous accolades, including awards for lifetime achievement and as “No. 1 volunteer,” his wife said.
Among his retirement activities — many of which centered around the Mid-Island Y JCC in Plainview — he would drive senior citizens who could no longer drive to shopping, medical appointments, beauty parlors and banks. He also built sets for the shows at the Plainview Jewish Center's Men’s Club, where he was on the board of directors. There also is a fund in her husband’s name at the Y to provide food and hot meals for those in need, she said.
“The world is better place for him having been in it, and he will be missed,” his wife said.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by four daughters: Patricia Ellner, of Islip; Susan Klein, of Westbury; Barbara Berse, of Hicksville; Karen Stern, of upstate Ballston Spa; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Elowsky was buried at Wellwood Cemetery in Pinelawn. A memorial service for him will be held at the Plainview Jewish Center as soon as feasible, his wife said.