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Mr. Elmer Albert Sailer

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Elmer Albert Sailer, 82, died on Dec. 3, 2007, at the hospital in Alamogordo. Mr. Sailer was born Sept. 28, 1925, in Beulah, N.D., the fifth child of Albert and Hertha (Bohrer) Sailer. He had been a resident of Alamogordo for 21 years, coming from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1986, where he had been employed for three years as a contract administrator for the Saudi Arabian Petroleum and Mineral Organization.
Mr. Sailer moved from North Dakota with his family to Tacoma, Wash., in 1940. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, having served in the Pacific Theater. After serving in the Navy, he returned to Lincoln High School in Tacoma and graduated in 1947. He married LaVonne P. Ostrem in November of that same year, and they had two sons from that marriage.
He was employed by the Army Ordinance Depot in Tacoma in 1949, where he spent 10 years and worked his way into the federal contract management field as an Army civil service employee. His marriage to La Vonne became very turbulent and they were divorced in 1966.
During his 36 years of federal service, he also spent five years at the Pentagon, 10 years in various assignments at Army Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and seven years with the Army Petroleum Agency in France and Germany.
While employed at the Army Material Command, he made a staff visit to the procurement office at White Sands Missile Range and the contracting office at the Holloman Air Force Base. He was so impressed with the climate, mountains and friendly people he decided Alamogordo would be his first choice for a retirement home. He met and married his second wife, Gertrud Dhlay, while on duty in Germany in 1968. His final civil service assignment was with the Army project to modernize the Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh in 1977. He retired there in 1981, and returned to the U.S. having achieved the civil service rank of GS-15. In 1983, he was employed by Computer Science Corporation as a contract administrator and reassigned to Saudi Arabia for three more years.
Elmer and Dhaly traveled extensively as tourists while on overseas duty. They flew around the world on the Pan Am "Around the world in 80 days" program, starting at Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia with stops in New Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Hawaii, San Francisco, Tacoma, Wash., Springfield, Va., New York, London, north Germany and back to Saudi Arabia. They visited Iran just before the revolution took place, and also went to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Kenya, Mombasa, Seychelles, Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the Philippines.
During Elmer's civil service career, he received 20 outstanding service awards plus the French government's Distinguished Service Medal for his "distinguished contributions to the NATO forces."
Mr. Sailer was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the American Armed Forces Museum in Alamogordo. He also was a life member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Destroyer Escort Sailors and Non Commissioned Officers Associations.
Survivors include his wife, Dhaly, two sons, Douglas and wife Debbie, of Virginia, and Dennis and wife Sandra, of North Carolina; two granddaughters; one great-grandson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; two brothers, Armand and Harold; two sisters, Lillian Fitz and Calma Reiser; his first wife and mother of his children, LaVonne (Ostrem); his granddaughter Melissa; and great-grandson Dylan.
Cremation has taken place at PCS, entrusted to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home. No services are scheduled. A naval burial is in the planning to entomb Elmer's ashes in the Pacific Ocean.
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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Dec. 5 to Dec. 20, 2007
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