Adam McElwain was proud of his work, loved to travel

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 | 7:53 p.m. CDT; updated 8:07 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2014

COLUMBIA — Whenever people asked Adam McElwain where he worked, he said proudly, "I work at the corporate office at MFA Oil."

It was a point of pride for McElwain that he was able to hold a job at the MFA Oil Co. and graduate with an associate's degree from Moberly Area Community College in 2002, his mother, Kathy McElwain, said.

Adam Weast McElwain, formerly of Macon and more recently of Columbia, died Monday, July 7, 2014. He was 35. It was believed he died from a seizure, his mother said.

He was born Dec. 27, 1978, in Columbia. He was adopted by Gary and Kathy (McCarty) McElwain when he was 2 days old. When he was 10 months old, his family discovered he had cerebral palsy.

"When we discovered his illness, we kept right on going. We started researching and finding the best medical care for him. We were lucky to get the best physical therapist in Macon," Kathy McElwain said.

Mr. McElwain did clerical work for MFA Oil for 10 years, where he worked three days a week.

"He liked coming to work and always had a smile on his face," his supervisor Laura Sedgwick said. "He liked seeing fellow co-workers and developed several close friendships."

Outside of work, Mr. McElwain loved to golf. A couple of family friends made a special set of golf clubs for him. He played junior golf at Macon Country Club when he was a child, and he and his mom would often play nine holes at the course together. He also loved to ride boats at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

"He did really well for being disabled," Kathy McElwain said. "He worked with his surroundings."

Mr. McElwain enjoyed attending Missouri football and basketball games. He and his family went to the 2008 Cotton Bowl, where Missouri defeated Arkansas. His favorite Missouri athletes were Kim English, Chase Daniel and Henry Josey.

Traveling was another passion for Mr. McElwain. He and his family vacationed in many places, including Scotland, Italy, England and Russia.

"The minute you said where you were going, he wanted to make sure he was on the roster," Kathy McElwain said.

Mr. McElwain's favorite place to visit was Saint Martin.

"He enjoyed lying on the beach and even went parasailing," his mother said.

Music, along with travel, also filled Mr. McElwain's life. He loved all types of music, and his iPod was constantly full.

"He listened to a lot of '50s and '60s songs, and he knew all the words of every song," Kathy McElwain said.

Mr. McElwain is survived by his parents, Gary and Kathy McElwain; his maternal grandparents, Gene and Ginny McCarty of Phoenix, Ariz.; his aunts and uncles, Warren and Judy McElwain of Maysville, Teri and Gene Hahs of Kansas City, and Rosie McCarty of Phoenix, Ariz.; his special sister, Carol Arduser of Raytown; and six first cousins.

His sister, Debbie McElwain; his paternal grandparents, Ralph and Isabel McElwain; and his uncle Julien McElwain died earlier.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at First Christian Church, 806 E. Briggs Drive in Macon. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens.

Memorial contributions can be made to First Christian Church or Randy Johnson Memorial Fund, in the care of the Hutton & McElwain Funeral Home, 301 N. Rubey, Macon, MO 63552.

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