After 94 active years, Elmer has passed away. He held onto his hopes and dreams that he could clear the waterways of trash and obstructions up until the very end. He never gave up, he still had ideas and drive. Even the day before he died, July 23, 2013, he was still hoping he could get better so that he could collect more trash, prevent litter, and clear our waterways of obstructions. Unfortunately, his heart was unable to continue the fight. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by family. He will be missed. There is no other.
His final hope was that his efforts had made a difference, not so much in the trash he picked up or the streams he cleared, though both were large in scope for any individual. He hoped that he had inspired others to be aware of the problems and continue the effort. He knew that no matter how much he did, there would always be more, but that if he inspired others to the cause, that would make a true and lasting difference. He also wanted to thank all of those who paddled and boated with him for their company, friendship, and shared purpose.
Go boating, paddle a stream, drive a rural road in Onslow, Jones, Craven, and Carteret Counties. Think of him when you don’t see trash as you paddle or drive, when you can get through that blowdown, and especially when you see other Stewards, maybe inspired by him, cleaning and clearing those waterways! From his family, a heartfelt thanks to all who have meant so much to him and pitched in to further the causes over the years.
A Memorial Service was held for Elmer Sunday, July 28, 2013, at Kahlert Funerals & Cremations, 308 Main St., Maysville, NC 28555. Thanks to all who joined us for the service and the reception after the service. Special thanks to the wonderful people at United Hospice of Coastal Carolina, 810 Kennedy Avenue,New Bern, NC 28560, 252-633-4311. They helped make a difficult time much easier.
Even though Elmer never asked for Donations, we now need them to keep the www.waterwaystewards.us website going. Elmer compiled more than a decade of write-ups and photographs that are archived by date and are searchable by keyword. We’d like to keep that available as a resource. Based on site statistics, many people are still visiting the website on a daily basis. If you haven’t visited in a while and tried the search feature, please do so and give it a try!
We’d also like to invite everyone to contribute write-ups and photos of future trips as well. As you may know, Elmer had expanded his interests beyond just litter pick-up. He was also interested in keeping streams and rivers navigable and promoting use of our waterways. As such, any write-ups, condition reports, or other items of general interest are welcome. Please Contact Us if you are interested in authoring.