Joseph Peter Elias, 100, passed away peacefully at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday morning, June 15, 2022. He was preceded in death by his father Jokūbas, mother Teklė, sister Staše Poniškaitis (Antanas), brother Pranas, and mother-in-law Eleanor Jancauskas. He is survived by Eleanor Elias, sons John Paul and Joseph Andrew (Stacey), granddaughters Sarah Elizabeth (William), Rebecca Marie (Nathaniel), grandsons Aidan Joseph and Patrick Calvin, and nephew Linas Poniškaitis.
Joseph was born Juozas Elijošius on April 23, 1922, in Kelmės, Lithuania. After leaving Lithuania in the 1930s, Joseph studied biblical languages and Semitic linguistics in Germany, France, Austria, and Italy. He immigrated to the United States in 1951 and continued his studies at the University of Chicago and Loyola University, where he received his M.A. in Classics. Throughout his career, he taught foreign languages at Ohio Northern University, DePauw University, College of Charleston, Centre College, and in several public schools in Virginia Beach, Virginia. After his retirement, he worked on translations for his book Living Words: The Words of Christ, and published various editions in Aramaic, Hebrew, Lithuanian, and English. He lived a remarkable and fulfilling life, and recently enjoyed celebrating his 100thbirthday, surrounded by his closest family and friends.
Joseph was a longtime parishioner of St. Henry Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church.