The Ottumwa Courier


April 23, 2013

Elmer Sovern

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

Elmer was born Jan. 25, 1925 to Elmer Wesley and Lois Novis (Newton) Sovern in Springport, Mich. He married Martha Edgerton on June 9, 1946 and they were blessed with five children. Martha preceded Elmer in death in 1957. He married Carol King on Nov. 29, 1958 at her home in Albia.

Before graduating from Battle Creek High School in 1946, Elmer was in the first 18-year-old draft for World War II in 1942, when he entered the U.S. Army. After the war, he worked for Kellogg Company for 26 years in Battle Creek, Mich; Manchester, England; London; Ontario; and Mexico; Nabisco for four years, and then returned to Albia where he and Carol owned Behnke’s Famous Fryers. Elmer was an independent cereal consultant, spending six and a half years in Trinidad, West Indies and a year in Corowa, Australia.

Elmer was a lifetime member of the American Legion Howard Cessna Post #136, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans, and past member of the Albia Rotarian Club. He enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family; especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Elmer is survived by his wife, Carol of Albia; four children, Mary (Charlie) Hall of Lancaster, Pa., Robert (Barbara) Sovern of Gig Harbor, Wash., Alice (Lee) Gaus of Flossmoor, Ill., and Richard Sovern of Albia; 12 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 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Albia; 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 April 29 in Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens in Battle Creek, Mich.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday 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. Condolences may be left for the family at

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