Elmer King Jr., 87, of Morton, passed away at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at Maple Lawn Health Center in Eureka.
He was born May 9, 1925, in Eureka to Elmer Sr. and Lena (Kennell) King. He married Ethelmae Gerber on March 8, 1947, in Morton. She preceded him in death on June 15, 1984. He later married Alberta Skinner on July 4, 1985, in Phoenix, Ariz. She survives.
Also surviving are four sons, Ray (Marsha) King of Groveland, Ed (Nancy) King of Tremont, Phil (Kathy) King of Tremont and Tim (Kim) King of Monticello; one stepdaughter, Brenda (David) Sampson of Pensacola, Fla.; 18 grandchildren; two step-grandsons; eight great-grandchildren; one step-great-granddaughter; and one sister, Marguerite Litwiller of Morton.
He was preceded in death by one granddaughter, Glenell King; and one sister, Virginia Unsicker.
Elmer graduated in 1943 from Eureka High School, where he was active in athletics.
He farmed near Groveland for 38 years, retiring in 1985. Elmer enjoyed hunting and fishing throughout his life.
He was a member of the Tazewell County Farm Bureau and served on the board of directors for 16 years, including two years as secretary, one as vice president and nine as president. During his time as president, he served several times on the Illinois Farm Bureau Tentative Resolutions Committee.
In 1971, he was elected District 7 director on the Illinois Farm Bureau board of directors, representing McLean, Marshall-Putnam, Tazewell and Woodford counties until 1985. He represented the Illinois Farm Bureau as a board member of Prairie Farms Dairy from 1977 to 1986.
Elmer served on the board of Groveland Grade School for many years, including several as president. In 1970, he was elected to the first board of Morton Unit School District 709 and served there until 1981. He was school board president from 1974 to 1975 and 1977 to 1978.
He served as chairman of the Central Illinois Valley Division of the Illinois Association of School Boards.
He was a long-time director of the Tazewell County Junior Fair, a director of the Tazewell Service Co. and a director of the Tazewell County Mental Health Board.
He was a member of First Mennonite Church in Morton, where he was a Sunday School teacher and served as Sunday School superintendent. In 1987, he also joined Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, where he and Alberta served together as greeters for 14 years.
He also was a member of The Gideons and served in ministry to inmates in several local prisons and at Sheridan and Pontiac prisons.
Services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at First Mennonite Church in Morton, with the Revs. Doane Brubaker and Bob Harnish officiating. Visitation was from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, and from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, both at First Mennonite Church in Morton. Burial will be at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in rural Tremont.
Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be made to First Mennonite Church, 250 S. Baltimore Ave., Morton, IL 61550; Grace Presbyterian Church, 8607 State Route 91, Peoria, IL 61615 or Maple Lawn Homes of Eureka, 700 N. Main St., Eureka, IL 61530.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.knappjohnson.com.