Elmer Edgar Sherman, age 98 years of Niles, Michigan, father, grandfather, honorable veteran, scout, auto restorer, and Notre Dame fan died peacefully at 11:12 a.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020 with his family gathered around at Forest Glen Assisted Living in Dowagiac, Michigan following a brief illness. His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Forest Glen and Grace Hospice.
He was born on February 5, 1922 in Marcellus, Michigan to William and Alice Letah (Oxley) Sherman and was graduated from Niles High School. He was already employed at the former Niles plant of the Kawneer Company, building aircraft for the war when he was called to military service in the United States Army. He served in an aviation engineering battalion, and spent most of his three years in the Asiatic-Pacific theater including the Philippines and earned multiple bronze battle stars. He was honorably discharged as a Veteran of World War II, and returned to Niles and Kawneer. He later was employed at the former Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana and retired from its successor, Bayer AG in 1987.
Elmer was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Wade E. Harris Post number 88 in Elkhart, Indiana. He enjoyed restoring classic cars beginning with Studebakers and later Fords. He also enjoyed rabbit hunting with beagles. As a child, Elmer attended the First Baptist Church of Niles with his family, and was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. He delivered the Niles Daily Star, and attended his first University of Notre Dame football game with fellow paperboys as guests of the Niles Daily Star. He has remained a fan of Notre Dame.
On February 19, 1949 in Niles he married the former Ruth Ann Sonnenleiter with whom he celebrated the remarkable Sixty-first anniversary of their wedding prior to her death on October 19, 2010. He was also sadly preceded in death by a twelve-year-old brother, Lyle Sherman who died from injuries in a bicycle accident, and by another brother, Vaughn Sherman who died on August 30, 2015.
Surviving family includes his sons, Richard L. (& Lois) Sherman of Niles and Edward W. (& Pam) Sherman of Morristown, Tennessee; grandchildren Richard E. (& Tai) Sherman, Andrea Sherman, Sara (& Trisha) Sherman-Ballard, Lindsay (& Adam) Welch-Epps, Loren (& Chris) Welch-Bradley, and Carrie Bilotti; great-grandchildren Jacob Sherman, Jacquelyn Davis, Jaylyn Sherman, Jocelyn Roberts, Jade McGraw, Joleigh Sherman-Ballard, Kamayla, Sherman, Kaleb Sherman, and Ella Bradley; and several nieces and nephews.
The family of Elmer Sherman will receive relatives and friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. At 2:00 p.m. the funeral procession will depart for the Graveside Service at Mission Hills with Chaplain Kevin Brintnall of Grace Hospice officiating and concluding with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Army Honor Guard. Those who prefer to witness the ceremony via the livestreamed broadcast may do so on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/.
Contributions in memory of Mr. Sherman may be made to Grace Hospice, 3355 Eagle Park Drive NE, Suite 102, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49525, https://www.ghospice.com/; or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, Illinois, 60601, https://alz.org/. Online condolences may be left at:
Elmer worked hard from his paperboy years through retirement at 65, contributing to society and providing for his family. His interests as a young man in scouting and later restoring classic cars were also respectful and productive. His membership in the VFW and his military record are further evidence that Elmer was truly a worthy member of The Greatest Generation.
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