Luke Stephen (Steve) Elston, age 76, passed away at his home in Loranger, Louisiana, on Saturday, December 11th, 2021, with loving family and friends at his side. Â Steve was born on August 27, 1945, the youngest of six children, in the rural timber area of DeRidder, Louisiana, to Luke Stanberry Elston and Effie Smith Elston.
Steve is survived by his loving wife of fifty-four and one-half years, Arlette James Elston, two sons, Darrell and wife, Stephanie, of DeQuincy, Louisiana, and DaRyan and wife, Amanda, of Hammond, Louisiana; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings: Alfred, Annie, John, Irene, and James. Â He was also preceded in death by a baby grandson, Tyler John Elston.
Steve was raised in a strong Christian home where prayer and daily Bible reading were never neglected. Â His dad was an elder and Bible teacher. Â His grandfather was an active evangelist for seven decades, and his great-grandfather was a pioneer preacher and writer. Â At the age of twelve Steve was saved and baptized, and from a very young age he wanted to âbe a lightâ and âsow seedâ for the Lord. Through the years, he also ministered with his beautiful singing. Â Steve was blessed with perfect pitch; he never owned a pitch pipe, and never had to re-pitch a song he started. He eventually became a minister, pastored two congregations, and assisted in the ministry until 2015. Â He continued in this service to the Lord, even during his final months while confined to his recliner, wheelchair, or bed at Landmark Nursing Center of Hammond, Louisiana.
Steve went to New Orleans in 1963 to serve two years in a government job. Â During this time he went to night school at Delgado and received a diploma in Operating Engineering. Â After being licensed by the City of New Orleans with a Second Class Operating Engineerâs license in air conditioning and heating, he obtained a job at Magnolia Medical Center on Napoleon Avenue.
He met the love of his life, Arlette, through a cousin of hers, and the two were married June 10, 1967. Â After living in New Orleans for six years, they fled the Big Easy in 1973, and returned to Loranger, Arletteâs native home. Â He then assisted his father-in-law in operating a service station in Hammond, across the street from Harry McKneelyâs Funeral Home for twelve years before entering the ministry fulltime. Â
Steve was the ultimate handyman and could repair any and everything. College Town Apartments in Hammond benefited from those skills from 1992 until early 2013. Â He hoped to pursue his woodworking hobby when he retired, but that dream was unrealized due to becoming disabled with Parkinsonâs.
He was a lover of Godâs Creation: beautiful sunsets, moonlit nights, shooting stars, the changing weather and seasons, flowers, birds, butterflies, trees, wildlife. Â These all intrigued him.
He was a âpeopleâ person who loved everyone and would lend a hand to help and encourage the most down-trodden of humanity. Â God and family were of utmost importance to him; his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were always at the forefront of his mind and in his prayers. Â His sweet-spirited nature was an inspiration to all whose lives he touched. Â Perhaps a more gentle, kind, compassionate, sensitive, and forgiving person has never lived. Â He epitomized I Corinthians 13:4-5, âCharity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh Â not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.â
The family extends a special note of thanks to the staff of Landmark Nursing Center of Hammond, Dr. Kyle Caulfield, Dr. Stacy Newman, the nursing staff for room 3410 at North Oaks Hospital, and both Community Care and Traditions Health hospices.
Visitation will be held Friday, December 17, 2021, at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home, 2000 North Morrison Boulevard, Hammond, from 5:00 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 18, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. until funeral services at 11:00 a.m. Â
Interment will follow in Oak Grove Church of God Cemetery, 23174 Highway 40, Loranger.