Don Elmer Obituary

Don J. Elmer
Don J. Elmer

April 23, 1935 - August 6, 2017
Born in Cottonwood, MN
Resided in Alexandria, MN
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Obituary

Don J. Elmer, 82, of Evansville, Minnesota, died on August 6, 2017 at Alexandria Assisted Living in Alexandria, Minnesota, under the care of Knute Nelson Hospice.
Don was born in Cottonwood, Minnesota on April 23, 1935, the fifth and youngest child of Clarence and Ella (Loe) Elmer. The family moved to Evansville later that year, where Don was confirmed in the Christian faith at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. As a young man, Don worked in Clarence’s feed mill and hatchery business with his family and many kids from Evansville. In high school, Don and his classmates set school records in football, basketball and baseball under Coach Stan Kaess, whom Don greatly admired. Don graduated from Evansville High School in 1953.
Don married Shirley (Fedje) Elmer on August 22, 1953. The couple lived in Evansville and worked in the family feed mill and hatchery business in the early years of their marriage. In 1957, Don faced one of the toughest challenges of his life when a car accident near Parkers Prairie, MN left him sidelined for two and a half years. Through sheer will and determination, Don taught himself to walk again.
It was during his recovery that Don decided to build a bowling alley, which was completed in 1960 with the help of two carpenters and twenty-six farmers who poured the concrete. Don’s Lanes was an Evansville institution for decades. Don added a pool hall and bottle shop in 1970, an on-sale in 1976, and a dance hall in 1981. During the heydey of the 1980s, hundreds of people could be found each weekend in Don’s Lanes, Lounge and Ballroom. The bowling alley was the center of Don’s life for 38 years and he enjoyed every day of it. Don loved to entertain people and made sure everyone had a great time.
Don was generous with his time, both with his family and, really, everyone else, too. He spent time with each of his sons, on racing trips, driving trips across the country, and trips for ice cream with all of their friends. He was a friend, listener and confidant to many young people throughout the years.
Don is survived by his sister, Betty Olson of West Fargo, ND and by his three sons: Todd (Kathy) Elmer of Evansville, MN; Corey (Brenda) Elmer of Moorhead, MN; and Darcy (Leanne) Elmer of Rochester, MN. He is also survived by his five grandchildren: Christian Elmer (16), Jack Elmer (13), and Blake Elmer (9) of Moorhead, and Cameron Elmer (7) and Claudia Elmer (7) of Rochester, and many nephews and nieces. Don was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Shirley Elmer; his parents; and his brothers Wayne Elmer, Ray Elmer and Dean Elmer.
Visitation: 4 to 7 PM Friday, August 11, 2017, at Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, MN. Funeral Service: 11 AM Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Faith Lutheran Church in Evansville, MN. Burial to follow at Mound Grove Cemetery in Evansville, MN. Condolences may be sent online at




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Services

Visitation
Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory
659 Voyager Drive NW
Alexandria, MN USA 56308
Friday, August 11, 2017
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Visitation
Faith Lutheran Church
526 State St
Evansville, MN 56326
Saturday, August 12, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Time of Sharing
Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory
659 Voyager Drive NW
Alexandria, MN USA 56308
Friday, August 11, 2017
6:45 PM
Service
Faith Lutheran Church
526 State St
Evansville, MN 56326
Saturday, August 12, 2017
11:00 AM
Burial
Mound Grove
Evansville, MN
Saturday, August 12, 2017
12:00 PM