He was born November 21, 1918, at his family home in Circle, Montana, to James R. and Emma E. (LeMaster) Reed. At the young age of around 8 years old he traveled with his family in a covered wagon to go out west. Along the way they sold all their belongings including their horses and wagons and boarded the train with a final stop at Prosser, Washington. He received his education at Prosser schools and in 1936 he went to worked in Prosser at a Civilian Conservation Camp, known to many as the CC camps. On February 21, 1942, at the age of 23, Elmer was drafted in the US Army. It was the 82nd Airborne Division, 505th regiment, "C" Company; that Elmer served in during World War II. He was proud to be a member of the first and original 82nd Airborne.
After four major airborne jumps in Europe, all four major river crossings, combat in the Battle of the Bulge, and liberating a Concentration Camp in the town of Ludwick, he returned home in 1945. For his service, he received numerous awards including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster Bronze, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Metal and Bronze Star attachment and Silver Star attachment. After returning home he started a new chapter and found the Love of his Life Mary Maxine Small. Along with the marriage in 1950 came two little girls, Linda and Mary Hoy, which he raised as his own. In 1953 they relocated to Centerville to raise their family.
Elmer worked as a mechanic and could repair anything with moving parts. If he was unable to purchase the part for the repair, he would often make the part himself. After retiring from Klickitat County Road Department he stayed busy working on farm equipment and he was known to farmers as Centerville's main mechanic.
His son: William, grandson: Chad, daughter: Mary Hoy-Jackson, sisters: Maxine Culver, Alma Sprague, Myrtle Enyeart, brothers: Kenneth, Homer; and parents all preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Maxine of Centerville, sons; Stephen J. (Pam) of Goldendale, Elmer Lee (Darcie) of Centerville, Frank T. (Rose) of Redding, CA, daughters; Linda McNatt, of Vancouver and Elizabeth Stiner of Centerville; 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. at New Life Assembly of God with Pastor Kevin Gerchak officiating. A luncheon will follow at the Goldendale Grange Hall.
There will be a private interment at the Centerville Cemetery.