Former COC vice president of communications, John McElwain, dies at 70

by Michele Lutes 0

John McElwain, 70, died Friday, surrounded by his wife and two daughters, after a two-year battle with cancer. 

He is remembered for his leadership, professionalism and mentorship, according to his former colleagues. 

McElwain worked for COC’s public information office in various positions from 1996-2011.

“We were a team,” Sue Bozman, who hired McElwain, told The Signal Friday.  “He was truly a professional.”

McElwain was veteran, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard as a commander after 25 years of service, before working at COC.

“He was an integral part of the leadership team at College of the Canyons for years and years,” Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, College of the Canyons chancellor told The Signal.

He used to say, he worked for an organization that saves lives when he worked in the Coast Guard. He believed he continued to save lives while working at COC, his colleagues told The Signal Friday. 

“There’s a lot of us on campus who give him credit for shaping our careers,” Eric Harnish, spokesman for College of the Canyons said to The Signal. “And sharing his advice and wisdom that helped us become the professionals that we are.”

“He will remain in my heart for a very, very long time,” Van Hook told The Signal.

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