Joseph “Joe” DeWayne Elam, Sr.

Joseph “Joe” DeWayne Elam, Sr.


Joseph DeWayne Elam (Doc) passed away peacefully on August 29th, 2023, at the age of 89 in Edmond, Okla.

He was born in Dewey, Okla. on July 30th, 1934, to James and Hazel Elam. He is preceded in death by his parents, his two sisters, Tressia Gilliland and Evelyn Mahaffey, and his daughter, Brenda. He married Anna Mae Milligan on March 3rd, 1958, in Columbus, Ga. while serving in the Army.  Joe and Anna had 2 children, Joe Jr. born February 3rd, 1959, and Brenda Annette Max, born June 24th, 1966.  While serving in the Army, he became a military police officer, and this fueled his passion for Law Enforcement.  He was discharged from the Army in February of 1959 and he and Anna moved back to Oklahoma where he became a motorcycle police officer for the Bartlesville Police Department. After a year of being a police officer he entered the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy where he graduated in 1961. He started his career in Wewoka, Ok, then to Lawton, Tulsa, Clinton, and Edmond.  He rose up through the ranks until he retired as Lt. Colonel (Assistant Chief) in 1980.  One of his greatest accomplishments as a Highway Patrolman was when he was tasked to oversee the new training center that opened in 1973. This training center still exists to this day. He was the first Captain to be in charge of this facility.  While a Highway Patrolman, he started back to school and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Southwestern State University in Weatherford, OK, in 1973 before moving to Edmond, Ok. He then entered Oklahoma City University and earned his Master’s Degree in criminal justice in 1975. He then entered Oklahoma University and earned his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology in 1983.  During his educational pursuits he never earned anything less than an A. He retired from the Highway Patrol on a Friday and went to work for the Department of Public Safety the following Monday where he served as the Psychological Services Director for 25 years, retiring in 2005.  During those years he continued to teach classes during patrol academies.  He also started his own business providing entry level psychology testing for police and fire departments across the state. He sold the business in 2017 after over 3 decades of service. He was active in the Rotary Club starting in Clinton, OK, and where he became District Governor and ended up with 50 years of perfect attendance.  His last club was the Capitol Rotary Club in Okla. City.

He and his wife of 65 years, Anna, provide a wonderful childhood for their family and he is survived by his wife Anna, his son, Joe Jr., his wife Sherri,  four grandchildren, Christopher Elam, his wife Jenny,  Katelyn Hoffman, her husband Kaleb, Leisa Cole, her husband Michael, Cordel Max, his wife Dusti, and eight grandchildren, Henry Elam, Lola Elam, Charlotte Elam, Ella Cole, Hanlee Hoffman, Sawyer Max, Jailee Hoffman, and Maddox Max.

Viewing will be September 6th & 7th until 5:00pm and September 8th until 8:00pm at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond.

Graveside services will be for the family members at 9:30am, Saturday, September 9th at Resthaven Cemetery in Okla. City. 

Memorial services will follow at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond at 11:30am, September 9th.

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