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Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory

Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory
116 Benton Ave. West
Albia, IA 52531
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Memories & Candles

“Alice .... My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I was hoping, if there was a service in Battle Creek, I would be back from vacation in time....Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Pat Carpenter - Battle Creek, MI

“My uncle will never be forgotten. I remember how giving he could be. He was always family! He never hesitated to give a helping hand. I was blessed...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Gloria Abnet - Portage, MI

“Elmer was a very nice person and came from a wonderful family.. ”
3 of 12 | Posted by: Virginia Goold Aumaugher - MI

“I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. A friend from Trinity UMC, Kim ”
4 of 12 | Posted by: Kim Jolly - Knoxville, IA

“Thank you Uncle Elmer for all of the great memories from when I was young. Spending time at your house in Battle Creek with everyone I love that...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Amy Sovern Decker - Port St Lucie, FL

“Carol, Richard, Adam, and sincere condolences on the passing of a wonderful man. When I met him, he was smiling. And every time after...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: julie barnes - Albia, IA - friend

“My Poppy was a great and amazing man. He was a wonderful grandfather and perfect great-grandfather. He will forever be in my memories and heart. ...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Ali Pedersen - Flossmoor, IL

“Thirty five years ago Elmer hired me as his Office Manager at Behnkes Famous Fryers. I was 6 months pregnant at the time. When my baby Sarah Beth...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Kathy Elliott - Albia, IA

9 of 12 | Posted by: MAX COX - ALBIA, IA - neighbor

“Will, Molly & Abbey ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: Molly - Mokena, IL

“Dad was my hero. He gave me a strong desire for loyalty, patriotism, love of family and Miss Carol. I will miss you Dad and I will make sure Mom ...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Robert H. Sovern - Gig Harbor, WA

“Carol and family, We wish to express our sincere sympathy to you on the loss of your beloved husband and father. Diane and Phil Whitson ”
12 of 12 | Posted by: Diane Whitson - Albia, IA

Elmer Sovern, Jr., age 88, of Albia, died Friday, April 19, 2013, under the care of Circle of Life Hospice at Legacy Lodge in Chariton.

He was born January 25, 1925 to Elmer Sovern and Lois Noviss in Springport, MI. He grew up in Level Park, the middle son of eight children. He had a long paper route, by bike, to help pay for family groceries during the depression. He bought his first Model T when he was 17 and drove it home in third gear because he'd never had driving lessons.

Elmer was in the first 18 year old World War II draft while he was still in Battle Creek High School. He served in the 5th and 7th Army, 3rd Division, 15th Infantry under Generals Mark Clark and George Patton. He took part in Operation Torch in Casablanca, North Africa; Operation Shingle in Anzio, Italy; Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy; and the Push to Rome, where his feet were frozen in a fox hole. He was hospitalized in Italy, reclassified and discharged in October 1944. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, and two clusters.

Elmer graduated from Battle Creek High School in 1946, while working at the Kellogg Company, learning to run all the machines and later began working in Research and Development. He was especially proud of his teams' development of Raisin Bran, Special K, and Product 19.

Elmer married Martha Edgerton in Battle Creek in 1945 and they had five children. Martha died in 1957 during the Asian Flu pandemic. He married Carol King at her home in Albia on November 29, 1958. He continued his work at Kellogg's doing research and development along with engineer's work in Manchester, England; London; Ontario; Mexico; and all Kellogg plants in the United States.

Elmer left Kellogg's for Nabisco in 1968 and worked with a team to design and build a cereal plant in Aurora, IL. In 1972, Elmer and Carol moved to Albia and later bought Behnkes Famous Fryers. He became an independent cereal consultant and moved to Trinidad, West Indies with Carol in 1985. While there, he designed the Universal Foods plant, supervised construction, and designed the single line machines to produce six cereals. He wrote all the production manuals and trained the workers. He also did waste control for Universal's biscuit and candy plants. In 1992, Elmer and Carol moved to Corowa, Australia where Elmer managed waste control at the Uncle Toby's cold cereal plant.

After retirement, Elmer and Carol bought a small condo on Emerald Lake in Naples, FL. He enjoyed deep sea and lake fishing there for 18 years and was really proud to win the Caribbean World Contest one year with his Trinidad team. Elmer also enjoyed fishing in Michigan; Florida; Iowa; Alaska; Tasmania, Australia; Great Barrier Reef, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Elmer's family, especially the grandchildren and great grandchildren were special to him. Family, fishing, and baseball were his favorite past times.

Elmer is survived by his wife, Carol Sovern of Albia; four children, Mary (Charlie) Hall of Lancaster, PA, Robert (Barbara) Sovern of Gig Harbor, WA, Alice (Lee) Gaus of Flossmoor, IL, and Richard Sovern of Albia; twelve grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Martha; and a son, William Wesley.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Friday, April 26, 2013, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Albia, with Pastor Neil Montz officiating. Military rites, provided by the American Legion of Albia, Lovilia, and Melrose will follow services at the church. Burial will be Monday, April 29, 2013, in Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens in Battle Creek, MI.

Visitation will be 2-8 p.m., Thursday, April 25, 2013, at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Elmer's family present from 5-8 p.m. A presentation, provided by Elmer's family, will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Memorials may be made to Albia Chamber of Commerce for the Fourth of July Fishing Competition at the reservoir or to the 4-H Fishing Club.

Upcoming Funeral Services

Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens

1490 E. Michigan Ave. Battle Creek, MI 49014
(269) 964-0088