A native of Memphis, Mr. Elphingstone was nicknamed "Cotton" because his hair had the distinct color of the fiber. He briefly attended Memphis State University, now known as the University of Memphis, before his military draft number was called.
"His draft number was No. 158," his wife said. "He left college after two years and went into the U.S. Army Air Corps. He got into flying because that's what he liked so much. He delivered airplanes to the battlefields during World War II."
After six years in the service, Mr. Elphingstone was honorably discharged with the rank of captain. He still wanted to fly, so in 1947 he applied to Delta Air Lines. He worked for the company for 31 years before he retired in the late 1970s. For him, the longer the flight, the better, his wife said.
"He liked the West Coast trips most of all, places like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco," she said. "He could get his time in, then have two or three days off."
For Mr. Elphingstone, the thought of retirement wasn't easy, said his son Bill F. Elphingstone of Calhoun. "[Flying] was his profession, his occupation, and he was very exact about it," he said. "It's hard to give up something you enjoy."
Mr. Elphingstone, an Eagle Scout, collected stamps. He also was an avid golfer who had belonged to Atlanta's Lakeside Country Club and, more recently, Eagle's Landing in Stockbridge. In 1994, the then-76-year-old shot under his age 10 times at Eagle's Landing, according to a story that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Other survivors include two additional sons, Robert R. Elphingstone of Stockbridge and Charles P. Elphingstone of McDonough; a daughter, Carol E. Sheehan of Newnan; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.