Elmer Ray Runner, 94, died Saturday March 27, 2021, at the Wilber Care Center in Wilber.
Elmer was born March 3, 1927, on a farm near Laurel, Iowa, to Arthur, and Ruby (Zesch) Runner. Elmer was the youngest of three children, including a brother, Floyd Arthur, and a sister, Esther Ruby. Elmer grew up on the farm and attended school graduating from LaMoille High School in 1944.
Elmer joined the Merchant Marines in 1946 and served until January 1951, when he enlisted in the United State Army during World War II. He was honorably discharged from the Army in January 1953.
Elmer returned to the farm after his military service and continued farming until 1972. He then moved to Arizona. While in Arizona, he lived in the towns of Pearce, and Apache Junction, and Elmer held several different occupations. Due to health issues he returned to Iowa, and became a “resident/worker” at the VA Care Center in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Elmer met Ferne Snowden in 2000 while she was visiting her brother at the VA Care Center. After a couple more visits, Elmer moved with Ferne to Hallam and on Jan. 20, 2001, they were married. Ferne passed away in 2010, and Elmer remained in Hallam until 2016 when he moved to the Wilber Care Center.
Elmer was preceded in death by his wife, Ferne; his parents; brother, Floyd; and sister Esther.
Elmer is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Deanna and Roger Brackhan of Fremont, Laurie and Gary Vocasek of Hallam; grandchildren, Angela and Robert Kutz, Michael Brackhan, Ryan Brackhan and friend Renae, David Brackhan, Stacey and Ryan Birkett, Nicole and Brian Zelenka; nine great-grandchildren; nephews, Brian (LaDonna) Runner, Bruce (Pat) Runner; niece, Karen (Dirk) Sleeuwenhoek; special cousin, Stephen (Rhonda) Runner; and many friends.
Elmer will be laid to rest next to his parents and sister at Graceland Cemetery in Laurel, Iowa. A graveside service will be Thursday April 1, at 12:30 p.m.