SANTA CLAUS - Elmer C. Dilger, 73, of Santa Claus passed away at 7:06 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, at home.
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Elmer was born June 25, 1940, in Mariah Hill, to Leo E. and Eleanora (Schue) Dilger.Â He married Carolyn Carpenter June 25, 1998, at Huntingburg Christian Church.
Elmer was a lifelong educator who taught sixth grade at Lincoln Trail Elementary, fifth grade at Clay Huff Elementary, seventh and eighth grades at Heritage Hills and Fulda "University."
Elmer was an Army veteran who was selected into the Eighth United States Army Honor Guard in 1960. He was stationed in Seoul, South Korea, which was composed of soldiers from seven of the United Nations.
Their mission was to provide security for dignitaries and the commanding general.
He was a 1958 graduate of St. Meinrad Minor Seminary High School.Â After serving in the Army, Elmer graduated from Brescia University in Owensboro, Ky.Â Elmer earned his master's degree in education from Indiana State University.
Elmer was a member of the Santa Claus Town Council from 1999 to the time of his passing.
The town of Santa Claus has made a proclamation that Dec. 14, which coincides with the Festival of Lights, as "Elmer Dilger Day."
Elmer worked during summers doing construction, replacing roofs and pouring concrete.Â He was a member of the Santa Claus Park Board for many years.
He was a trustee of the Santa Claus United Methodist Church and a devoted Christian. He was also a member of Santa Claus American Legion Post 242.
Elmer loved the town of Santa Claus, the Christmas season and was often seen driving around at Christmas time with Santa Claus in his front seat for company.
Elmer played semi-pro baseball for many years with the Mariah Hill Yankees.
After retiring from teaching, Elmer took food to the homeless in Evansville, cooked for community table in Dale and performed other acts of caring and kindness.
Â He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Dilger of Santa Claus; two daughters, Melissa Dilger Moss of Hendersonville, Tenn., and Kathryn Carpenter Counsell and her spouse, Judd of Montclair, N.J.; three sons, Kenneth J. Carpenter of Largo, Fla., Kurt R. Carpenter and his spouse, Cindy of Jasper and Guy Dilger of Dallas, Texas; nine grandchildren, Alexander and Nicholas Dilger, Kaylin, Joseph, Kyla, Brandon and Sara Carpenter and Oscar and Walt Counsell; one brother, Vernon Dilger and his spouse Donna of St. Phillips and two sisters, Erma Pfeiffer of Evansville and Eileen Scherle and her spouse, Don of Jasper.
Preceding him in death was one brother, the Rev. Basil Dilger.
A Celebration of Life Service was conducted Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Santa Claus United Methodist Church. Pastor Tim Ahlemeyer officiated.
Santa Claus American Legion Post 242 conducted military funeral rites.
Becher Kluesner Funeral Home in Jasper was in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to Evansville United Caring SheltersÂ or a favorite charity. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.becherkluesner.com.
Published in Spencer County Journal-Democrat on Aug. 29, 2013