Joseph Lee Elmer Jr.

10 March, 193018 January, 2022
Obituary of Joseph Lee Elmer Jr.
The Family of Joseph L. Elmer Jr wish to announce the Celebration of Life for their beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Please join us for a Memorial Service honoring Joseph on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 2pm in the afternoon at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, 4889 Princess Anne Road, Va. Beach, Va. 23462. A Reception to follow the service. Joseph Lee Elmer Jr. passed away on January 18, 2022, at the age of 91 in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. He lived a long and fruitful life as a devoted husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. Joe worked as a mechanic for Piedmont Aviation for forty years and served in the US Navy Ready Reserves for 30 years. He received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award from the Federal Aviation Administration for lifetime achievements as a senior mechanic. He was an active deacon and trustee at Virginia Heights Baptist Church and was a member of the Lake Taylor Civic League. After retiring, he continued to serve the community through his church and he volunteered with World Changers, a team of experienced construction supervisors who worked with young people on week-long construction/mission projects. Joe was part of a Baptist sponsored team that repaired roofs in Florida following Hurricane Andrew. He traveled to New York shortly after 9/11 to prepare buildings for habitation. Most notably, as a "retired" mechanic, Joe was always available to friends, neighbors, and family for home repairs or a quick tune-up. Joe met Jane Brown, the love of his life, at Maury High School in 1945 and they were married in 1952. Together, they had three daughters, Elizabeth (Betsy), Rose Ann, and Janet Patricia (Patty). Joe loved the holidays with his family, especially the food. His very special Christmas Eve tradition was to take the entire family out to eat Chinese food, a custom started by his father. During the dinner, Joe would regale everyone with the many puns he would store away for the occasion. Joe's favorite getaway was his cottage in Surry County on the James River where he loved to pilot his boat and pull his daughters on water skis. It was also a place where he enjoyed many Thanksgiving dinners with his family and close relatives. Joe also liked model trains, traveling, and collecting mechanical Christmas toys. Joe is survived by Jane, his wife of 70 years. He is also survived by daughter Elizabeth Baine, her husband Parker, and grandchildren Parker III and Emily Baine. Daughter Rose Ann Arnaud, grandchildren Joseph Harder and Thomas Harder, his wife Liz, and their children Caretta and Ridley also survive him. In addition, he is survived by daughter Patty Wilburn, her husband Robert, and their children Rob and Elizabeth Ann.

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  • Jane Brown Elmer Loving Wife of 70 years
  • Elizabeth Baine (Parker) Daughter
  • Parker Baine, III Grandchild
  • Emily Baine Grandchild
  • Rose Ann Arnaud Daughter
  • Joseph Harder Grandchild
  • Thomas Harder (Liz) Grandchild
  • Caretta Harder Great Grandchild
  • Ridley Harder Great Grandchild
  • Patty Wilburn (Robert) Daughter
  • Rob Wilburn Grandchild
  • Elizabeth Ann Wilburn Grandchild

Past Services

Sunday, 20 March, 2022

A Celebration of Life