Old Hippy believed as you do and stayed an elder for 24 years. It looks like you have no praise or respect for him for all that time. Without knowledge of why he did what he did why do you so quickly turn your back on him? If he decided to eventually go back to being an elder how would you feel about your comments then? You do not know the mans heart, but you are showing us yours as a JW elder and it looks pretty cold. Again, try using your heart and try to imagine how he feels right now. He is a fellow human and served as an elder a lot longer than you say you have. Show a little respect toward him just as you expect from others and do not be so quick to judge. You have more compassion in your heart than what you show on this board, I know you do. Try bringing out your human side and not your JW side to try and understand a few things. It might help YOU be a better elder.
There is an old saying: "The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step." You have just begun. There is one huge wonderful world for you to discover out there. As you find that out you will grow to appreciate the good things in relation to what you learned in the religion. You will also find out that those good things were not exclusive to the JW teaching but rather a common philosophy followed by just plain good people.
I feel bad for the sadness that this decision may bring you but I know it will not last forever. You now will be able to enjoy a different perspective on life and it will make you stronger than you ever thought possible. You are still the same person you have always been. You will just find out you re a better person than you thought you were.
Take care and take a few deep breaths, your life will never be the same.