God gives every person their own unique song. It’s one that will play their entire life long, through the love that they give and the gifts that they share. Through the memories they make and the dreams that they dare. It’s a song filled with beauty and day-to-day grace, that plays through until they see God face to face. A song that is heard in the heart, loud and clear. A song, if we listen, we’ll always still hear. What a beautiful way to celebrate them through the song they lived, the song you’ll carry forever in your heart.”
Robert G. Elam, 61, of Champaign, Illinois peacefully transitioned in his sleep, from this life on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL. He was born on June 12, 1960 to his loving mother Madie B Elam and father Robert L Elam, followed by two siblings shortly after.
As a young boy, there were two things that he enjoyed more than anything; cars and toy army men. With his eye never too far from spotting a clean Cadillac, he filled his free time with collecting classic cars that he held onto for years until eventually passing them to his grandson. He found a sense of peace in the admiration of these collectibles and could go on for days about the details within them. He loved to talk about his toy army men that his mother would buy him and he would line up while a commercial he saw resonated with his inner thoughts. The old uncle sam slogan stated, “We want you”, in which he would vividly describe in his stories, along with his toy army men, ignited a fire and a new desire to learn more about the army. This eventually led to his dream of joining the military.
Attending Danville High School and graduating in 1978, this dream of one day going into the army never left his mind and he was even more inspired. So after his completion of school, he went on to bring this dream into fruition and enlisted in the army where he proudly completed a tour in South Korea after his graduation from military training. Expressing the experience he gained from this, he used that discipline to guide him in a long-term career working for Freight Car. In addition to that he worked for KIK and the Veterans Affairs Department in which he humbly took leave from so that he could commit to caring for his mother.
Often known as, “Greg”, he touched the lives of many with his infectious smile, caring ways, and charming personality. Always ready to help those in need, especially family, he was willing to give the shirt off of his back if it meant a person in whom he loved would benefit. Greg was a proud son who truly loved his mother through and through and was never too far from her side. From yard work to building, he took pride in any work that he completed and was quick to stop anyone and have a long conversation. Admitting that he was long winded, Greg never missed an opportunity to engage with those around him and share his children’s achievements, slot machines, sitting in his car, DIY projects, bodybuilding days, army adventures, and memories with family/friends. A classic and traditional man in all his ways, he enjoyed a good home cooked meal (preferable chicken), playing games both on his phone or a system, and a good movie. For Greg, it was the simplicity of the life he lived that allowed him to be content. He was a hard-working man who truly enjoyed a ride in a time-capsule that encompassed the most precious memories of his life.
Robert leaves behind to cherish his memories, four beautiful children: Adrian Westland, Ashley Elam, Robert Elam Jr., and Johnathon Elam, all of Danville, IL; Five grandchildren: Adrian Westland Jr., Isaiah Westland, Zaaleiyah Jean, Robert Elam III, and Miranda Elam; one brother: Anton Elam of Lithonia, GA, and two sisters; Margaret Byrd of Milwaukee, WI and Valerie January of Woodbridge, VA. He also leaves behind a host of nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, and a truly dedicated and special friend Jolane Crowther of Menifee, California.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, two grandchildren: J’Nyla Jean and Adrianna Westland; two aunts: Norma Johnson and Mary Clark; two uncles: Charlie Maddox and Malcolm Elam; and one great-nephew: Devontae Summers.
A Homegoing Celebration will commence at 12:00 Monday September 20, 2021 at New Life Church of Faith, 1419 N. Bowman Ave., Danville. Visitation will begin at 11:00 am until the time of service.
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