Elmer was born on April 8, 1922, and passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at First United Methodist Church in Ames. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. Burial will be in the Ames Municipal Cemetery.
Elmer was born on April 8, 1922, in LeMars, Iowa, to Reuben H. and Evelyn G. (Parkinson) Aurand. Reuben was a preacher and Evelyn was a gifted artist and musician; Elmer and his siblings were raised with an abiding appreciation for God, music, and art. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1941 and attended Western Union College until joining the US Army in 1943 for WW II.
In 1944 Elmer’s Tank Company A, 22nd Tank Battalion, 11th Armored Division, was deployed to France, Belgium, and Germany in the historic Battle of the Bulge against the German forces. That December, Elmer drove his Sherman tank into battle for the first time, during which his company suffered heavy casualties, many of whom were his close friends.
Following his military service, Elmer attended Iowa State College to pursue a teaching career, obtaining a B.S. degree in 1948 and a M.S. degree in Education in 1951. In 1948 he began teaching Industrial Arts at Ames High School, and in 1952 he was promoted to the school principal, opening the Edwards Elementary School in Ames. After serving as the principal at Edwards for 30 years, Elmer retired from the Ames School system in 1984, having become a beloved figure to many families whose children were blessed by his caring leadership.
Elmer met his sweetheart, Lois Finney, while both were enrolled at Iowa State, and they married in 1949. They had three children: Kathleen, John (Lori Ahlquist), and Daniel. In 1962 they unfortunately divorced. In 1964 he was blessed by marrying precious Marvel Anderson Luther, and they were together until Marvel passed away in 2009. Elmer was an amazing father and also a wonderful stepfather to Marvel’s three adult children: Carl M. Luther, Bonny (Gary) Bay, and Barry (Rose Marie) Luther.
Elmer and Marvel were members of the Ames First United Methodist Church, where they were very active and faithfully served for many years. Elmer spent his life in dedicated service to his family and community. He was a member of the Ames Lions Club for 53 years, a founding member of the Ames Heritage Association, served as a board member for the United Way, and participated in numerous other support services in Ames, continuing to actively serve after retirement. Elmer’s family wishes to thank the staff at Northcrest Community for their wonderful and loving care of Elmer in his final years.
Elmer was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Marvel, his sister Dolores McRae, his ex-wife Lois Carruth, his brother Wayne O. Aurand, and his son Daniel F. Aurand. Elmer leaves behind two children, three stepchildren, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Elmer was a wonderful father figure to many, an integral part of the Ames community, and dearly loved! An honorable and gracious servant, Elmer will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to First United Methodist Church, 516 Kellogg Avenue, Ames, Iowa 50010, or to the Northcrest Foundation, 1801 20th Street, Ames, Iowa 50010.