Brandon was born on January 13, 1975 in Dallas, Texas to Ronald and JoAnne (Hawn) McElroy. After graduating from Athens in 1993, where he was a member of the 1992 District Football Champions, Brandon attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Parson’s Mounted Cavalry. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in History in 1998. In 2004, Brandon earned his Master’s in History from Stephen F. Austin State University and was commissioned in the United States Army. Brandon served two tours in Iraq and one in Kuwait and was awarded numerous military honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, and Army Service Ribbon.
Being an avid outdoorsman, Brandon loved spending time in nature. He would hike Mt. Rainier while stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington and enjoyed spending time on his kayak at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. An enthusiastic traveler, Brandon spent time in Russia, Peru, England and Israel. He was a naturally gifted artist who loved to draw colorful portraits of people, places, flowers and trains. Brandon was an ardent reader and especially loved books pertaining to history. He had a great appreciation for museums and would often visit historical monuments and locations. As a child, Brandon discovered his love for trains. As he grew older, he took great pride in growing his collection of model trains. He greatly enjoyed visiting the Texas State Railroad, touring the locomotive, and finally taking numerous journeys through the woods along the rails as a passenger. With a deep devotion to serve, Brandon spent time volunteering at his various church homes assisting however and wherever he could. He had an infectious laugh, a wonderful sense of humor and a servant’s heart to help those in need. While stationed at Fort Bragg, he found his church home at Hay Street Methodist Church in Fayetteville, NC and spent the last three years devoting his time to their ministry and becoming a beloved member of his church family.
Brandon was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. James L. McElroy of Rusk, Texas and his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Hawn of Athens, Texas. He is survived by his father, Ronald Lewis McElroy of Rusk, Texas, his mother, JoAnne Hawn McElroy of Athens, Texas; his brother Blake McElroy and wife Cindy of Richardson; sister, Brooke McElroy of Athens as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation services will be held at Autry’s Carroll-Lehr Funeral home on Friday September 28, 2018 from 5-7 P.M. and services will be held at First United Methodist Church Athens, Texas on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. Burial will follow at Athens Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hay Street Methodist Church 320 Hay St. Fayetteville, NC 28301, First United Methodist Church of Athens 225 Lovers Lane, Athens, Tx. 75751 and First United Methodist Church of Rusk 255 Henderson Ave. Rusk, Tx. 75785. Donations can also be made to the Hurricane Florence relief efforts.