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Leonard Elmer, 85, of Wausau, passed away Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at Saint Clare's Hospital surrounded by his family and under the care of Ministry Home Care Hospice.
He was born May 23, 1927, in Arpin, to the late Jacob and Anna (Weiss) Elmer. After graduating from Auburndale High School in 1945, he enlisted in the Army Air Force. He completed the Army Air Force Teletype and Radio Training School and became a Radio Operator Mechanic. He served overseas in Japan and Guam; operating airborne transmitting and receiving equipment. Upon completion of his service, Leonard was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal Japan. He then spent the next four years serving in the Air Force Reserves.
On October 24, 1951, Leonard married Lorraine Rottscheit, in Marshfield. They moved to Wausau where they raised their family of seven children.
Leonard attended the Wausau Bricklayers Joint Apprenticeship Program and began his career as a masonry contractor. He was a partner in ownership with Kluz & Elmer Mason Contractors for more than 40 years, where the company built residential, industrial and commercial buildings throughout Wisconsin.
As a member of St. Matthew's Parish, Leonard traveled with the Good News project to St. Lucia and lent his expertise in the building of a school within the community. He was a volunteer consultant on the Mason Advisory Committee at the North Central Technical Institute. He also belonged to the Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen Local 6.
He was an Honorary Life member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Wausau VFW Burns Post 388. In 2011, Leonard was grateful to have had the privilege of attending a Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington D.C., escorted by his daughter Darla, where he was recognized for his service to his country.
An avid outdoorsman, Leonard enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed attending church functions in his free time. He grew his own grapes and took pleasure in sharing his homemade wine with friends and family. He will be remembered as a hardworking and caring father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Survivors include three sons, David, of Mercer, Danny (Wen-Chi), of Eden, NC, and Kelly, of Wausau; four daughters, Kathy (Michael) Switlick, Viki (Greg) Simmons, Donna (Gerry) Witt, and Darla Porter, all of Wausau; 16 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; one sister, Tillie O'Rear, of Oregon; and one brother, Leroy Elmer, of Missouri. Leonard was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine; one granddaughter, Nicole Witt; one great-granddaughter, Adrian Handrick; two brothers, Jacob and Walter Elmer; and three sisters, Katherine Thomas, Mary Ann Dake, and Elsabeth Lueptow.
The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at noon, Monday, January 14, 2013, at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Wausau. The Rev. Robert Thorn will officiate. Military Honors are provided by the VFW Burns Post 388, at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau. Entombment will follow in the Memorial Chapel Mausoleum, at Restlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, at the Helke Funeral Home, Wausau; and from 11 a.m. until the time of services, Monday, at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Ministry Home Care Hospice. You may sign our family guest book at helke.com.
The family would like to thank the staff at Interim Health Care and Ministry Home Care-Hospice for all of the care and support provided to Leonard and his family.
Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Service
302 Spruce St
Wausau, WI 54401
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Jan. 12, 2013