Cover photo for Joel Elkins's Obituary
Joel Elkins Profile Photo

Joel Elkins

March 24, 1933 — January 16, 2024

Armonk, NY

March 24, 1933-January 16, 2024

With great sadness we announce the passing of Joel Elkins of Armonk, New York on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024. Born in Brooklyn, Joel spent his early years in Queens, graduated from Forest Hills High School, and attended Syracuse University, graduating in 1954 with a degree in advertising design and photography.

Joel's photographic career began in Germany, where he was a photographer in the U. S. Army from 1954 to 1956. Next he worked at advertising agencies in Manhattan and eventually opened his own photography studio, doing editorial, advertising, and publicity photography. He shot publicity photos on many United Artists film sets in the U. S. and Europe, including Lion in Winter, with Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole; Julius Caesar, with Charlton Heston, James Mason, and John Gielgud; The Group, with Candace Bergen and Jessica Walter; and Fiddler on the Roof. He took publicity photos for noted stars early in their careers, including Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, and Gene Wilder.

Joel married Ann in 1965, and they were thoroughly devoted to one another for over 58 years, until his passing. An avid cyclist, Joel explored all corners of Westchester County, NY, and beyond. He and Ann traveled to Italy, France, Germany, England, Portugal, Norway, Spain, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere. Joel's other passion was jazz, and jazz festivals were high on their travel agenda. His photos of jazz and rock musicians have appeared regularly in books and articles and on recording covers since the 1960s, including photos of Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, and Astrud Gilberto. Listening to his collection of vinyl recordings and CDs was his greatest pleasure.

Joel will be missed by his wife, Ann Elkins; his sister, Suzanne Benton; his nephew, Daniel Benton, and wife, Stephanie March; his niece-in-law, Janet Inskeep Benton; his niece, Janet Benton; his grand-nieces, Dariel Benton-Updike and Kat Benton; his grand-nephews, Jeffrey, Michael, Nate and Alex Benton; and Alex's wife, Alisa, and their son, Wesley, who made Joel a great-grand-uncle.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the National Museum of Jazz in Harlem, N.Y., NY.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Joel Elkins, please visit our flower store.

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