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Eric Park Elbel, Sr. Obituary

Brought to you by Carmichael Funeral Homes

Eric Park Elbel, Sr.

Smyrna, Georgia

October 19, 1942 - June 8, 2024

Eric Park Elbel, Sr. Obituary

Capt. Eric Park Elbel, Sr., age 81 of Marietta, GA passed away at home on Saturday,

June 8, 2024. The following are his own words to friends and family:

“Thinking back over all of the high quality, talented people I’ve known, there have

been so many world-class friends it was an honor to know. Good luck followed me all

the days of my life.”


Eric has requested no memorial service and no flowers. He would prefer that

when you gather among friends that you raise a pint to his memory and tell some good

stories. If you care to donate in Eric’s memory, please consider St. Jude Children’s

Research Hospital (stjude.org/donate).


Eric was born to Melvin and Bertha Elbel in Palmerton, PA and spent his

childhood in Harrisburg, PA. After graduating from Central Dauphin High School, Eric

attended Valley Forge Military Academy from 1960-1962 on a music scholarship. He

secured his position by playing an impromptu version of “The Cricket and the Bullfrog”

by Jeanne Costello on the sousaphone. From there, he attended San Diego State

University from 1962-1964 where he competed with the cross-country team. He

graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a triple major of English, Political Science,

and Air Science.


Eric joined the United States Air Force and was active from 1964-1969, serving

as a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter pilot during the Vietnam War and rising to the rank of

Captain. He was in the inactive reserves from 1969-1986. Eric was active in his

community and served as Commander of his local Veterans of Foreign Wars post while

living in Mt. Morris, IL during the mid-80s.


Following active military duty, Eric began flying for Delta Airlines – a job that he

loved. He was based in Houston, TX, Chicago, IL, and Cincinnati, OH before relocating

to Delta’s hub in Atlanta, GA and moving to Marietta with wife Teresa Duncan-Elbel. By

the time of his mandatory retirement, he was making international flights on the Boeing

777. It was the largest and most advanced airplane in Delta’s fleet at the time.

Eric remained a committed athlete and enthusiastic traveler and outdoorsman

throughout his life. During the ‘80s, he organized an annual 10K race over the Fourth of

July in Mt. Morris, IL that drew Olympic-caliber talent. He took great pride in taking first

place in the Masters Division 800-meter run at the prestigious Drake Relays in 1987,

becoming an All-American in the event while winning the coveted watch and champion’s

t-shirt. As a member and Team Captain of the Delta Dusters and Delta Running Club,

he was the Duke recipient in 2001 and traveled the world with teammates including

Teresa for the annual World Airline Road Race. In retirement, he trained for Olympic-

distance triathlons and competed in sprint triathlons.


In addition to running, Eric enjoyed every ball sport and gathered longstanding

friends throughout his life while playing. In Houston, he was player-coach of a

competitive basketball team. Softball was a passion in Illinois from 1978-1990. Eric

continued with senior softball in Marietta from 1992 onward. He also devoted time to


tennis, annual golf outings with friends, and yoga. He and Teresa often traveled for San

Diego State University football games and more.


After retirement, Eric hiked from Glacier National Park to Lake Louise with his

nephew. He made the Wainswright Walk across England from St. Bees to Robin Hood

Bay. He and Teresa enjoyed traveling to locations worldwide including New Zealand,

Europe, China, and the Middle East.


Eric is survived by his wife Teresa Duncan-Elbel, his son Jeffrey Park (Melinda)

Elbel, daughter Elizabeth “Riana” Spencer Elbel, and son Eric Park (Stephanie) Elbel,

Jr. Eric is also survived by grandchildren Megan Elbel (Will) Brunner, Melody Raelene

Elbel, Layla Grace Elbel, and Rebecca Faith Elbel. He is survived by siblings George

(Jeanie) Elbel, Rev. Roger (Ellen) Elbel, Regena Kosten, and Karl (Judy) Elbel. He is

also survived by numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Eric Park Elbel, Sr. hosted by Carmichael Funeral Homes.

Capt. Eric Park Elbel, Sr., age 81 of Marietta, GA passed away at home on Saturday,

June 8, 2024. The following are his own words to friends and family:

“Thinking back over all of the high quality, talented people I’ve known, there have

been so many world-class friends it was an honor to know. Good luck followed me all

the days of my life.”


Eric has requested no memorial service and no flowers. He would prefer that

when you gather among friends that you raise a pint to his memory and tell some good

stories. If you care to donate in Eric’s memory, please consider St. Jude Children’s

Research Hospital (stjude.org/donate).


Eric was born to Melvin and Bertha Elbel in Palmerton, PA and spent his

childhood in Harrisburg, PA. After graduating from Central Dauphin High School, Eric

attended Valley Forge Military Academy from 1960-1962 on a music scholarship. He

secured his position by playing an impromptu version of “The Cricket and the Bullfrog”

by Jeanne Costello on the sousaphone. From there, he attended San Diego State

University from 1962-1964 where he competed with the cross-country team. He

graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a triple major of English, Political Science,

and Air Science.


Eric joined the United States Air Force and was active from 1964-1969, serving

as a Lockheed C-141 Starlifter pilot during the Vietnam War and rising to the rank of

Captain. He was in the inactive reserves from 1969-1986. Eric was active in his

community and served as Commander of his local Veterans of Foreign Wars post while

living in Mt. Morris, IL during the mid-80s.


Following active military duty, Eric began flying for Delta Airlines – a job that he

loved. He was based in Houston, TX, Chicago, IL, and Cincinnati, OH before relocating

to Delta’s hub in Atlanta, GA and moving to Marietta with wife Teresa Duncan-Elbel. By

the time of his mandatory retirement, he was making international flights on the Boeing

777. It was the largest and most advanced airplane in Delta’s fleet at the time.

Eric remained a committed athlete and enthusiastic traveler and outdoorsman

throughout his life. During the ‘80s, he organized an annual 10K race over the Fourth of

July in Mt. Morris, IL that drew Olympic-caliber talent. He took great pride in taking first

place in the Masters Division 800-meter run at the prestigious Drake Relays in 1987,

becoming an All-American in the event while winning the coveted watch and champion’s

t-shirt. As a member and Team Captain of the Delta Dusters and Delta Running Club,

he was the Duke recipient in 2001 and traveled the world with teammates including

Teresa for the annual World Airline Road Race. In retirement, he trained for Olympic-

distance triathlons and competed in sprint triathlons.


In addition to running, Eric enjoyed every ball sport and gathered longstanding

friends throughout his life while playing. In Houston, he was player-coach of a

competitive basketball team. Softball was a passion in Illinois from 1978-1990. Eric

continued with senior softball in Marietta from 1992 onward. He also devoted time to


tennis, annual golf outings with friends, and yoga. He and Teresa often traveled for San

Diego State University football games and more.


After retirement, Eric hiked from Glacier National Park to Lake Louise with his

nephew. He made the Wainswright Walk across England from St. Bees to Robin Hood

Bay. He and Teresa enjoyed traveling to locations worldwide including New Zealand,

Europe, China, and the Middle East.


Eric is survived by his wife Teresa Duncan-Elbel, his son Jeffrey Park (Melinda)

Elbel, daughter Elizabeth “Riana” Spencer Elbel, and son Eric Park (Stephanie) Elbel,

Jr. Eric is also survived by grandchildren Megan Elbel (Will) Brunner, Melody Raelene

Elbel, Layla Grace Elbel, and Rebecca Faith Elbel. He is survived by siblings George

(Jeanie) Elbel, Rev. Roger (Ellen) Elbel, Regena Kosten, and Karl (Judy) Elbel. He is

also survived by numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Eric Park Elbel, Sr. hosted by Carmichael Funeral Homes.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Eric Park Elbel, Sr..