John Lawrence Elias, 25 September 2019

Dr. John Lawrence Elias, a longtime Madison resident, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 surrounded by the love of his family.

John was born on December 23, 1933 to the late George and Josephine Elias. He was raised in Philadelphia and settled in Madison 42 years ago with his beloved wife, Dr. Eleanor J. Flanigan and their cherished daughters.

John’s incredible career in education and religious education began while serving the church through his ministry in the Diocese of Allentown. John went onto earn his doctorate in philosophy of education at Temple University. He was a professor at LaSalle University, Temple University and Fordham University. At Fordham University, John developed three doctoral programs, and mentored over 85 doctoral students, many who are now world-renowned theologians, Bishops, and 3 University presidents. He wrote over 15 books and hundreds of articles on religious and adult education, and social justice. John’s dedication to his field of expertise and catalog of work was widely renowned. He was selected as one of the 100 most influential Christian Educators of the 20th Century.

John was always there for his family and he was their rock. He was a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. His wisdom, warm nature and intellect will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. He leaves behind an immeasurable legacy from his years as a professor, mentor and philosopher that will live on indefinitely.

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