Dr. Elmer Vere Jesperson
July 26, 1920 – December 27, 2020
Elmer Vere Jesperson, of Lakeside, California, passed away on the evening of December 27th, 2020, at the age of 100. After months of declining health, Elmer died peacefully surrounded by loving family in his own home.
Elmer was born on July 26th, 1920 in Miramonte, Arizona, a small community outside of Benson. On the night of Elmer’s birth, his mother recalled that it was dark and stormy, but that his arrival brought light and healing to a season of sorrow. Elmer was born just months after the death of his older brother, Teddy, and his much-anticipated arrival brought comfort to his grieving mother. She recounts that he remained a comfort to her and those around him for the remainder of his life. No truer words have been spoken.
Elmer spent his childhood on his family ranch, and often told stories of the adventures he and his younger brother, Neil had. From almost burning down the family home, to accidentally detonating a stick of dynamite, the young Jesperson children had quite the childhood. At the age of 14, Elmer and his family relocated to Binghamton, a small Mormon community in Tucson, Arizona. He immediately became involved in the social opportunities his church community offered, and was often the “star” in their youth plays. He also loved to sing and dance, and engaged in both activities whenever the opportunity presented itself. It was during this time that Elmer met his future wife, Geraldine Echols. They often participated in the same productions, and it was amidst these tender, teenage years that the two fell in love.
Following high school, Elmer worked for the local WPA, building and maintaining roads. In 1940, he drove his lovingly restored 1931 Model A to San Diego, California to apply for a job at Convair, where he worked in aircraft construction. In January of 1941, he briefly returned to Tucson to marry his beloved Geraldine in the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple. Soon after, they returned to San Diego to begin their life together.
Elmer and Geraldine welcomed their first daughter, Michal in 1942. In 1945, Elmer was drafted for WWII service into the Navy. Six weeks later, their second daughter, Sandra was born. Elmer spent most of his enlistment stationed in Long Beach, California. Three years after the end of the war, Elmer and Geraldine added their third daughter, Judith, to the family.
Following his service Elmer became very interested in health, and enrolled at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1949. After his graduation, the family decided to settle in El Cajon, California. Elmer returned to Convair, while he worked on setting up his own chiropractic practice. Over the next five years, Elmer and Geraldine added four more children to their family: two sons named Chris and Randy, and two daughters names Jeri and Kim. He formally opened his chiropractic practice in 1964. Elmer’s two sons, and his grandson followed in his footsteps, and “Chiropractic Family Health Center” is still in operation today.
In 1987, Elmer retired from his chiropractic practice and left to serve a family history mission for the Church of Jesus Christ. He and Geraldine served for two years in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Following their mission, Elmer and Geraldine decided to move closer to their daughter Sandy and try life out in a small town in Utah named Lynndyl. But after 10 years, Elmer decided that he did not like the cold, and he and Geraldine returned to California. Soon after their return, Elmer’s youngest daughter, Kim constructed a new home, with an attached apartment, so that Elmer and Geraldine could have a comfortable place to spend their last years. Geraldine passed away in 2008, and Elmer has missed his “eternal sweetheart” every day since.
Elmer left behind a legacy to be envied. He considered himself a “wealthy man,” but measured that wealth in the family that surrounded him, not in dollars and cents. He was beloved by all who knew him, especially his grandchildren, and always had time to dance “tee-doo-da-lee” with them. He was known for his “thrifty” nature, and spent hours perusing thrift stores in search of “treasures” that he could restore to their former glory. He fashioned his life after Jesus Christ, and spent his days serving all those he came into contact with. He was humble and selfless. He was a lifelong missionary and professed his love of Jesus Christ continuously. He served in many different capacities for the Church of Jesus Christ, but perhaps his favorite calling was the years he spent serving in the San Diego temple. Most of all, he loved his family. His final message was to “love one another.” He sang those words over and over again as his spirit left his mortal body. Elmer was born on a rainy day, and died on a rainy day, but his life brought light to all who knew him. He was a beacon, and will remain a beacon to all of the many loved ones he has left behind.
Elmer is preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Ida, his wife Geraldine, and his children Judy and Randy. He is survived by his children Michal, Sandy, Chris, Jeri, and Kim, as well as many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Tuesday, January 5, 2021