Monday, April 1, 2013

Johnny Elder (1935-2009)

It'll be 4 years since my Dad passed away. (9 April)

I miss him everyday.

Johnny was born 9 Dec. 1935 in the middle of the Great Depression in Perry County, Indiana.
His parents, Paul and Celestine, must  have had a tough time providing for the 4 children that came before Dad. He was sent to live with his Grandparents, Joe and  Spicie Gedling in Cloverport, Kentucky. I think Dad went back to live with his folks in 1943 when Spicie passed away. I know he was in Kentucky on his 6th birthday in 1941 because I remember him telling me about hearing about that attack on Pearl Harbor on his Grandparents radio.

Johnny and Brother Carl at the Lehman Co. picnic. 
 Johnny had to deal with a lot of death as a young boy, his Brother James Randal died as a infant in 1937.
  Grandmother Spicie in 1943 and then his Father, Paul in 1950.

Dad didn't talk a lot about his father, I think that it still hurt. On a trip to Seattle in 1998 to a Seahawk game, I ask him a few questions about his Dad. He told me he was a hard worker, "Busted his butt everyday to feed us kids", he told me.  He loved baseball and was a fan of the Cleveland Indians.

 Johnny Yo-Yo Elder was a fine halfback and outstanding at running the hurdles.


Doing what high school kids did in the '50's (I wish I had that pic >>>>>>>>> when I was a teen)

On 5 May 1958, Uncle Sam called and Dad headed to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for basic training and the off to Korea.

On 4 Nov. 1958 Dad and Mom were married.
The Army took them to Ft. Bragg, NC after Korea where Daughter Jeanine was born in 1960. Then to Orlando, Florida where his brother Joe was living. I recall Dad saying he worked at a cement block plant and hated the job. In 1962 Daughter Joan was born and in 1964 son Ed (me)The family then headed north back to Indiana were son John was born in 1965.

1968 the family then headed west to Vancouver, Washington.

 Mom and Dad divorced in 1972.

Dad remarried in 1979 to Cherie Smith.

In 1984, I left Vancouver to join the Army, got married and stayed on the East Coast. In 1997 I came back with my family.

Mema and Grandpa with Danielle and Kailey.
Stepson Jim

Granddaughter Michon

Son John

Daughter Joan

Daughter Jeanine

Daughter Carrie


Sons Ed and John

Elder Men, Ed, John, John and John.

That familiar goofy smile 

With the grandbabies (wish Michon and Brian were there)

4 Generations of Johns

Grandpa and Grandson

The last photo I have of my father. I was kinda walking around in a funk after you left us. 3 weeks later while mowing the back yard I broke down.

So long Dad. Have a Coke on me.


  1. What a wonderful tribute. I am so glad you put this together. I hear his voice all the time. I miss him...

  2. I love your tribute...never forget Dad.