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Elwood Harold Imken

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IMKEN, Elwood Harold "A Life Well Lived" His family and most of his friends called him "EH", born in Burton, TX. He graduated from Pflugerville High School where he was a member of the Panther's football team during their 55 game winning streak. He went in to play football at then Southwest Texas University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He loved raising Neapolitan Mastiffs, hunting, fishing and his garden. Sergeant Major Elwood H. Imken's military service spanned more than 38 years from March 1967 through 2005. His career reached every echelon from Platoon to Division and every level of leadership, culminating as the Division Operations Sergeant Major for the 49th Armored Division and the 36th Infantry Division. In each capacity he demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to improving unit quality and taking care of each Soldier. In addition to his immense impact in domestic operations, Imken played a huge role in establishing and sustaining community outreach programs such as Food For Familes, a program that provides food to stock pantries across Texas. His planning efforts directly contributed to the success of the one day food drive collection of 1,552,714 pounds of food in 2014 alone. Similarly, he was very involved in the planning and execution efforts of Blue Santa, another outreach program where he worked hand-in-hand with the Austin Police Department to provide thousands of toys annually to underprivileged children across the state. He worked alongside the Texas Department of State Health Services to create an annual medical emergency preparedness exercise, Operation Lone Star. Operation Lone Star provides hands-on training for the Texas Military Department medical personnel as well as providing valuable community health services to Texas inhabitants that may otherwise not receive medical care. Imken facilitated the planning and coordination necessary to execute the establishment of Medical Points of Dispensing along the Texas border. The magnitude of this operation is so big that 12,000 border area residents attend annually, and over 100,000 have been cared for during the program's 12-year history. SGM Imken's tireless efforts and devotion to the Texas Army National Guard and the State of Texas for the past 49 years made a significant impact on the force that will undoubtedly be remembered forever. Elwood is survived by his former wife, Mignon Wilcox, brother-in-law Tom Bebee, niece Dana Bebee and her spouse Tom Maultsby and her daughters Lexi and Lacey DeLancey and great nephew Weston, along with other nieces, nephews and their families. Elwood wished that any donations/memorials be made to MD Anderson Cancer Research Center or the in memory of his later sister, Patsy Imken Bebee, or Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Pflugerville.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Aug. 11, 2018
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