black ribbon

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 02/02/15, 12:01 AM PST | Updated: 9 hrs ago

Calvin Lewis McElwain, who served as San Bernardino County’s Second District Supervisor from 1978 to 1986 and was board chairman from 1983 to 1985, has died. He was 85.

McElwain, of Upland, died on Jan. 17 due to complications from cancer, of which he was diagnosed in May of last year, said his wife of 65 years, Nita.

When he wasn’t tending to work, his wife and their six children, McElwain was usually involved in some kind of activity with the myriad service organizations he was involved with including the Al Malaikah Shriners in Los Angeles, the Upland Masonic Lodge, the Ontario Elks Lodge, the Fontana Rotary Club, American Legion Post 772 in Fontana, and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in San Bernardino, where McElwain was a 32nd-degree Mason.

“He was a people person. He just loved to talk to people and help them with their problems,” McElwain’s widow, Nita, said of her late husband’s commitment to public service and helping his fellow man.

During his two terms as county supervisor, McElwain served on more than a dozen state and county committees including the National Association of Counties, San Bernardino Associated Governments, and Omnitrans’ board of directors.

Born in Painterville, Penn., on April 25, 1929, McElwain and his family subsequently moved to Lewistown, Penn., He served in the Army from 1945 to 1947, then returned home to finish high school, graduating from Mifflin County High School in 1949.

McElwain then met his future wife, Juneta, who goes by Nita. The two were married on July 11, 1949, and started a family. From 1949 to 1958, McElwain was a self-employed businessman who operated a service station and restaurant.

In 1958, the McElwains moved to California because the warmer climate was conducive to a medical condition afflicting their son. They settled in Upland, and McElwain went to work for the Kaiser Steel Company in Fontana, rising to the position of metallurgical quality control specialist. His expertise in the steel industry got him elected to the position of union official, and he became a legislative analyst for the United Steel Workers of America.

McElwain continued his education, taking courses in business law, labor management relations, collective bargaining and psychology.

To read entire story, click here.