James A. Elmer, 97, of Norwalk, Ohio, passed away on October 6, 2020 after a courageous battle with COVID-19 at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. He was born on May 8, 1923 in Tiffin, Ohio to the late Arthur and Minna (Schauss) Elmer.
James was a 1941 Norwalk High School graduate and was part of the first class to graduate from what is now the Main Street School building. After graduation, he started college at The Ohio State University for two years before enlisting in the United States Army to serve his country during WWII. After six weeks of basic training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, he was deployed to New Guinea and then on to Clark Field in the Philippines. Staff Sergeant Jim Elmer’s division assisted the Army Corp of Engineers in the construction of airfields. At the conclusion of the war, Jim’s division was then transferred to Japan for a few months where he observed the nuclear devastation. After the war, he returned to Ohio State earning a degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering in June of 1948.
Jim married the love of his life, Isabelle “Izzy” Kellogg on February 25, 1950. They spent 55 years together and raised a family before her passing in 2005.
For five years, Jim volunteered his Saturday mornings to transport and coach basketball to several Norwalk grade-school boys at the old Norwalk Recreation Center on Monroe Street. As those boys entered Junior High and High School, Jim continued to supervise them on the basketball court at the First Presbyterian Church, making himself available almost every night after long workdays. The boys benefitted, and as Seniors in 1974, they had a highly successful season advancing deep into the State Tournament. He was also a very charitable man, who donated to almost every cause that he was made aware of. He highly valued education and was generous in donating to his grandchildren’s college educations.
He was a great lover of nature, and after he lost Izzy, he became highly interested in bird watching; he could be found daily at the Norwalk Reservoir pursuing his newfound passion. James was an avid sports and Ohio State Buckeyes fan. He had won countless Norwalk City tennis tournaments and was part of the Norwalk Tennis League and Sandusky “Baywinds” Racquet Club. He was a member of the Norwalk First Presbyterian Church and The Ohio State University Alumni Association.
Jim worked as a civil engineer for the Elmer Borchardt Construction Company in Castalia for many years.
He is survived by his children, Cheryl Arthur, of Charlottesville, Virginia, Diane (Ron) Wynn, of Milan, Douglas (Debbie) Elmer, of Norwalk; five grandchildren, Heather Elmer (Mark DeYoung), of Oberlin, Jeremy Wynn (Tonya Lloyd), of Norwalk, Alicia Elmer (John Schmidt), of Thompson, Julienne (Jordan) DeLapp, of Norwalk, and Emily Arthur (Hannah Bliss), of Santa Monica, California; great-grandchildren, Katie (Carey) Fisher, Gavin Wynn, Bella Kattas, Alex Wynn, Lee Schmidt, Will Schmidt, Evelyn DeLapp, and one more on the way; one great-great-grandson, Jude Fisher; niece, Amy Kellogg, of Avon; nephew, John Kellogg, of Avon Lake; great-nephew, Charles (Melissa) Kellogg, of Amherst; great-great-nephews, Tyler and Maddon Kellogg, of Amherst; great-great-niece, Charley Kellogg, of Amherst; and numerous cousins.
In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Izzy.
Out of respect, and practicing an abundance of caution, all services will be held outdoors at Woodlawn Cemetery to allow for maximum social distancing. Masks will also be required to minimize risks and protect all who attend. The graveside visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk, beginning at noon, until the time of the 1 p.m. service. Rev. James Hodsden will officiate with military honors concluding the service. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Norwalk Parks and Recreation Department or the Humane Society. Online expressions of sympathy to the family may be made by visiting www.walkereastmanheydingerfh.com
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Huron County Humane Society
246 Woodlawn Ave, Norwalk OH 44857
Norwalk Park & Rec (Ernsthausen Recreation Center)
100 Republic Street, Norwalk OH 44857