Elmer Leroy Steinle, 97, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Main Street Manor in Russell.
Elmer was born February 19, 1923 in Russell. He was first of four children born to David Samuel and Amelia Molly (Ehrlich) Steinle. Elmer grew up in Russell and attended Russell High School, but had to quite before graduating, when the family farm was lost during the great depression, and went to work as a cook at the Puritan Café, in Russell, to help the family. Elmer was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, sent to Cook and Baker school at Camp San Luis Obispo, California by the Army. Elmer was promoted to Tec 4th Class and served as company Mess Sergeant in the Asiatic Theater, primarily Burma, April 1944 until December 1945. Elmer was discharged from the Army in January 1946, returning to Russell.
Elmer had married prior to his military service, October 1942 to Dorothy Ruth Bussin of Great Bend, and was blessed with their only son, Roy. They divorced January 1946 and Elmer was joined in marriage with the love of his life, Sophie Mathilda Scheck, of Collyer, April 1946. Elmer and Sophie, with Roy, made their home in Russell.
Elmer worked in his father’s business, Steinle Produce, primarily purchasing cream, eggs, and chickens from the area farmers and in turn selling them various farm supplies such as livestock feeds, seed, bailing wire, salt lick blocks, twine, etc. Shortly after his father retired from the business in the late fifties Elmer also left the Produce business and became a full time Carpenter. He was diversified in that he remodeled homes, built furniture, built homes in Russell, worked construction on a number of larger building projects in Russell, the Russell State Bank one of the local projects. Elmer was also carpenter Forman for the Kansas Refined Helium plant construction in Otis. For many years Elmer served on the Russell-Great township fire department as well as serving as the Dep0artments Fire Chief for a number of years until his retirement from the fire department. Elmer was a member of the St. John Lutheran Church, past member of the Russell Elks Lodge, a member of the Russell VFW Post #6240 and a member of the Russell American Legion, William Roe Post 99. A past Commander of Post 99 and held various officer positions at the Post.
Elmer enjoyed playing cards, for many years he dealt Black Jack, and later loved playing Texas Holdem with friends any time he could find a game. He and Sophie took to antique collecting and spent most of their time together traveling, buying and selling antiques, attending and participating in antique shows. For many years antiques were their passion. Elmer also became known in Russell as a Studebaker collector, and at one time had a number of Studebaker cars and trucks, plus spare parts, and restored them to operating condition. In retirement Elmer took up square dancing, joining the “Shooting Stars” club in Hays and continued carpenter work in his shop building children’s furniture, chairs, rockers, tables, and wagons.
Elmer’s surviving family include his son, Roy Steinle (Rosemary) of Russell, Kansas; brother, Gorden Dave Steinle of Kansas City, Missouri; two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Elmer was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his sister Fern Harman Deutscher and brother Wilber Dean Steinle.
A Graveside Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Cemetery in Russell, Kansas. Military Rites conducted by the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 Honor Guard. No visitation being held. Condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.