Elijah Appleseed Putnam

December 13, 1969April 5, 2021

Elijah Appleseed Putnam, 51, of Statesville, passed away Monday, April 5, 2021 at his residence.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts on December 13, 1969, he was the son of John Cohen, Linda Bauer Putnam and David Putnam.

Elijah worked as a cook, a heavy equipment operator and a truck driver with Carolina Containers and US Express.

He enjoyed photography, wildlife and the natural world and spending time at the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville. Elijah was a very loving husband, father and son. He adored his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed cooking and working around his home.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Shelley Renee Spalding Putnam; his parents, John and Linda; Nancy and Stanley Thanavastien; step-son, Brandon Atkinson; step-daughter, Britany Atkinson and sisters, Becky, Danielle, Amy Putnam and Rachael Toohey.

He is also survived by two grandchildren, Laci Black and Makenzie Houghteling.

There will be no services at this time.

Memorial donations may be made in Elijah’s memory to the American Cancer Society ( or to Carolina Raptor Center 6000 Sample Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Putnam family.


  • No services at this time


Elijah Appleseed Putnam

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Gary Leventhal

April 10, 2021

Eli gave me the greatest of gifts! He was about 6 when I took care of him, Amy, and Rachael after school. His trust and admiration helped me grow at time when I was struggling to know myself. He was inquisitive, perceptive, and really generous of spirit. We corresponded on social media a few years back. He was funny, quirky, and in my minds eye, still a little kid. He shared his love of his family, his fierce protective feelings for his grandchildren and his amazement and love of raptors. I regret not getting to know the adult he'd become, but I'm grateful he let me back into his life. Warm hugs to you all.

Karen Combs Sargent

April 7, 2021

We going to miss you Eli, with your silly sense of humor. I'll cherish our race weekends always. Bowman Gray will never be the same not having you there. May God comfort you Shelley, Brittany, Brandon, Laci, & Makenzie during this time and the days ahead. I love you guys.