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Harold Elder

Harold Elder Obituary
Elder, Harold O.

Harold O. Elder, 96, went home to the Lord on Saturday, July 21, 2012 with his daughter at his side. Harold was born October 11, 1915 in Green Bay, WI to the late James and Leona (Veeser) Elder.

Family members have said that Harold was always drawing. It was his primary interest even as a child. Following graduation from West High School in Green Bay, he continued on his artistic path and graduated from the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee. The school is now known as The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD).

Harold married the love of his life, Margaret Eichwald, on September28, 1940 at Christ Episcopal Church in Green Bay. Margaret was also a talented artist. Throughout their married life they shared each other's artistic dreams, and worked to help each other. Before Maggie passed away on December 16, 2008, they had celebrated 68 years of married life. Harold was a wonderful, loving husband and father. He had an easy going nature, a great sense of humor and quick smile. He was always ready to help in any way he could. Besides their art work, Harold and Maggie enjoyed travel, golfing, and sailing.

His art career was varied and interesting. He worked for a year in the color sketch department at Milprint, Inc. in Milwaukee before returning to Green Bay. When he returned to Green Bay he worked as a commercial artist for the Green Bay Drop Forge. He also did freelance work. This work included producing art for many of the area's businesses and industries, including part-time work for the Green Bay Press-Gazette. During the mid-1950's he joined the Press-Gazette fulltime as a staff artist.

Harold truly enjoyed his career with the paper. The work included advertising layout, cartooning, illustrations, and portraits of national celebrities. His creativity was honored when he was awarded the W.E. Payne Award for the best advertising piece in the state of Wisconsin in newspaper competition for layouts. The cartoon character for this advertising was recognized as "the most outstanding locally-prepared display of the year."

A highlight of his career with the Press-Gazette was working with Jack Rudolph on the weekly local history series. Selections from the series were later used in the book published by the Brown County Historical Society: "The Green Bay Area in History and Legend" (Green Bay Press Gazette articles by Jack Rudolph, illustrations by Harold Elder, edited by Betsy Foley). The book being published in the year of celebration of Green Bay's 150th anniversary brought about a proclamation from the mayor of Green Bay recognizing the book as an official publication of the Green Bay Sesquicentennial Year.

Harold was also well known for his creation of Bucky Bear, a little cartoon character who became an integral part of many of his cartoons and illustrations. Bucky appears throughout the above mentioned book.

Following his retirement from the Press-Gazette, Harold continued drawing and painting as well as teaching some art classes. A trip to Ireland and the Alpine region of Europe gave him new breathtaking scenery with which to work.

In addition to all of his art activities, Harold, along with his wife Maggie, enjoyed volunteering at the De Pere Christian Outreach. Both were active members of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in De Pere.

Survivors include his daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Raymond Ryerson of De Pere; step-grandchildren: Joan and Steve Fracassa of Ypsilanti MI, David Ryerson of Ozark MO, and Robert Ryerson of West Bend WI; and 10 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.

Harold was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret; two infant daughters, Mary Margaret and Margaret Mary; his parents, James and Leona Elder; two brothers, Clyde and Melvin Elder; one sister and brother-in-law, Blanche and Irving Valentine; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Leona and Fred Bredael.

Family and Friends may call at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, 347 Libal St., De Pere, on Thursday, August 2, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at the church on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with The Rev. Eric Mills, Rector, officiating and The Rev. Michael Scolare as homilist. Harold's cremated remains will be entombed at the church. Cotter Funeral Home & Cremation Services, De Pere, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.cotterfuneralhome.com.

The family extends a warm thank you to the wonderful staff of Odd Fellow Nursing Home for all their patience, love, and understanding shown to Harold and his family over the past four years.

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from July 22 to July 29, 2012
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