MANCHESTER — Elmer H. Riemer died peacefully June 10, 2013, at the age of 95 at the Veteran's Hospital Medical Center Palliative Care Unit. He had spent the last nine months living at the home of his younger daughter, Elaine Hirshan, who was at his side in his final days.
Elmer was born August 30, 1917, to Eduard and Eva Riemer in Cleveland, OH. He was the youngest of six children. Growing up his family attended Zion Lutheran Church in Cleveland. The love of his life, his wife of 56 years, Vera May Riemer predeceased him in 2008 while the couple was living in Indiana near their elder daughter, Diana Higdon.
Elmer began his career in machine tool engineering as an apprentice at Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing in Providence, RI. In 1942, he joined the Navy and later became a Navy pilot. He always took pride in the fact that when landing on the aircraft carrier, Saipan he never had a wave-off.
From 1945 to 1947 he was stationed in Pensacola, Florida and Banana River Naval Air Base. He flew to Bermuda and Guantanamo Bay for Atlantic coast security and made supply runs to the naval base in Cuba. He flew many single and dual engine aircraft during his time in the Navy, including the Stearman plane, Lockheed PBY high wing dual engine sea planes, and PBM sea planes.
He met Vera, herself a Navy veteran, during a bus strike in Detroit, MI when he offered Vera and her roommates a ride to work. The couple married and gave birth to their first child, Diana in Detroit. Later they settled in Connecticut where Elmer became a tool engineer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Hartford. Eventually he moved back to Cleveland with his young family to start a career as a sales engineer, representing Lovejoy Tool Company of Springfield, VT. He thrived on challenges, solving difficult machine tool engineering problems that others had abandoned.
Elmer cared foremost about his family and his faith, and devoted his life to both. The family attended Grace Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights. Elmer served as a deacon and a trustee.
He was an avid reader, following politics in national newspapers and the latest university research on nutrition, diet and exercise for maintaining lifelong health.
Elmer leaves behind two loving daughters and their husbands, Diana Higdon and husband Brian of New Albany, IN, and Elaine Hirshan and husband Adam of Concord, NH, and six grandchildren: Miranda of Bloomington, IN; Thomas of Boston, MA; Juliet of St. Augustine, FL; Grace of Los Angeles, CA; Alison of Orange, CA; and Madeline of San Diego, CA.
A funeral service will be held Sunday at 1 p.m., June 30 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 673 Weston Ave., Manchester, NH; Pastor Colageo presiding. A reception will follow.
Elmer will be buried later this summer next to his wife, Vera in New Albany, IN.
Donations may be made to VA Medical Center, Volunteer Service Office, Palliative Care Unit, 718 Smyth Rd. Manchester, NH 03104 or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. All are invited.