Elmer was a graduate of Henderson High School and Freeman Junior College, Freeman SD. On September 19, 1941, he was married to Bertha Epp. After teaching for two years in local country schools, he began farming. He was very involved in community and church activities, directing choirs, teaching Sunday school, and serving as a deacon. In his retirement, he especially enjoyed woodworking, reading, genealogy research, and keeping journals. He also continued to sing in the Chancel choir for many years.
Elmer is survived by two sons: E. James (Joan) Friesen and Phil (Sherryl) Friesen both of Henderson, and daughter Sherryl (Keith) Lantz of Keyport WA.
Seven grandchildren: Christine (Bob) Drews, Keri Dane, Suzanne (Rick) Sullivan, Scott (Stella) Friesen, Staci (Jeramy) Hanus, Stephani (Dave) Hiebner, Rebecca (Jerol) Schrag.
Seventeen great-grandchildren: Aaron and Elizabeth Drews; Molly, Makenzie, Jake and Sophie Dane; Blake, Brooke, and Brock Sullivan; Ethan, Lauren, and Tyler Schrag, Taelyn and Brady Hanus, Avery and Emma Hiebner, and Elle Friesen.
He is also survived by a sister, Nina Heiser, and sister-in-law Cleola Epp Franz.
Elmer was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Bertha, parents-in-law Jacob C. and Helena Epp; brother William L. Friesen; sisters Goldie Friesen Peters; Martha (Friesen) Friesen.
Graveside services will be held at 9:45 a.m., Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Bethesda Mennonite Cemetery at Henderson. A Memorial service will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson. Public Visitation will be from 1-6 pm on Friday at the mortuary in Henderson. Memorials may be directed to Rosewood Court or MCC. The service will be webcast live on the church’s website at http://bethesdamc.org.