Memorial Service For Sourdough Joe Was Held December 19th

 Sourdough Joe Was A Master Tie Flyer  December 19th Memorial In Glennallen;  Military Funeral Will Be Held In Summer  Sourdough Joe In the ...

 Sourdough Joe Was A Master Tie Flyer 

December 19th Memorial In Glennallen;  Military Funeral Will Be Held In Summer 

Sourdough Joe In the 1990s in Glennallen. (Archive Photo, Country Journal) 

Sourdough Joe, 77, of Glennallen died on Friday, December 3rd, 2021 in the Mat-Su Valley after being hospitalized at Mat-Su Regional. He went into the hospital on Wednesday, with a Covid-related illness. 

Sourdough was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, and came to Alaska in the 1970s, his cousin, Harold Elrod told the Journal on Sunday morning, December 5th. 

Highly educated, Joel Elrod earned two Masters' degrees. One was in chemical engineering, Harold Elrod believed. Sourdough Joe had been in the U.S. Army and was a registered ham radio operator. 

One of Joel's passions was tie-flying. He ran a business tying flies, and specialized in the types of lures specific to Copper Valley fish, including well-crafted black gnats for grayling.

On occasion, in later years, Sourdough Joe tied flies in the hallway at the Glennallen IGA for sale to travelers. Here are his flies from his website: 

Sourdough had done a variety of odd jobs in his life, including tending the Glennallen jail  and substitute teaching.
However, most local people would know Sourdough Joe from his many years running the fireworks stand near the Hub in Glennallen. His interest in fireworks led to extensive volunteer work coordinating the annual Glennallen 4th of July Parade for a number of years. 

Joel Elrod was on the Greater Copper Valley Chamber board for over a decade, and for many years he organized the calling of Chamber members who would be attending the regular winter dinner meetings. 

Sourdough Joe attended Old Paths Baptist Church in Glennallen. 

Joel lived alone on the outskirts of Glennallen. His cousin, Harold, had not heard from Sourdough Joe since talking to him by phone about a week before his death. When Sourdough's Facebook page went dark recently, Harold grew concerned. 

Harold Elrod told the Journal that he had been planning to call the Alaska State Troopers for a welfare check. Harold Elrod said the last time they spoke Joel sounded sick and was coughing. 

The first word that Joel had died came to the Elrod family from the Copper River Country Journal in a phone call. 

The State of Alaska had not notified the Elrod family of their family member's death as of December 5th,  Harold Elrod said. 


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