Elmer LeRoy Prusia, 89, longtime Lincoln resident, died peacefully at home late in the morning on Christmas Day, December 25, 2013 while in the presence of family. Born December 30, 1923, in Franklin, Nebraska, to Clarence and Elizabeth (Garrett) Prusia. Elmer grew up in Franklin, spending some of his time helping his father run the family hardware store. He eventually was called to serve in the U.S. Army, and was sent to the European Theater of Operations where he was a member of the 8th Armored Division. The tank he commanded found its way to many a different corner of Europe, including Bastonge, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia . Following the war, he returned to Lincoln where he studied music at the University of Nebraska. Music was then – and remained – one of the great loves of his life. In 1946, he met Florence Torbeck at the old King’s Ballroom which was located at Capitol Beach. She was the true love of his life. They were married on June 14th, 1947, a marriage that lasted for 66 years. To this union were born three children: Christine Denice; Lynn Mari; and Kevin Roy. Elmer worked at Western Electric, the Sidles Company, and was employed for many years as an auto upholsterer at McVicker’s Auto Trim in Lincoln.
Along with the equal help of his wife, Elmer spent the entire summer of 1983 painstakingly working at the task of the beautification of the pet cemetery at the Capitol Humane Society in Lincoln. They moved, straightened, lifted, repaired and replaced every single memorial stone which marked the resting place of someone’s beloved pet, most of which had sunken badly into the ground. It was a huge task which they took up with much care and love for pets that they would never personally know. Elmer also had the great and deserved privilege of participating in the WWII Honor Flight Program which used planes to shuttle veterans back to Washington, D.C. in order that they might visit the WWII Memorial on the National Mall. It was certainly a major highlight of his life, and he was extremely proud to have been able to have had that experience with his fellow soldiers in arms. During this experience, Elmer had the honor of meeting former Senator Robert Dole (KS), who was there that day to help welcome the veterans to the memorial.
Elmer is survived by his wife, Florence; daughter Christine and son-in-law Kim Woodward of Richmond, California, son Kevin and daughter-in-law O’Linda of Eagle, Nebraska; sisters Urva Lou Frerichs of Minden, Nebraska; Estelle Sorenson of Sacramento, California; Carolyn Barber of Fullerton, Nebraska; many nieces, nephews, and friends; and his beloved pet, Cassie. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Donald, Charles, and Richard; sister Dorothy; and his daughter Lynn, who he loved greatly, missed dearly, and with whom he is once again reunited.
He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, citizen, and soldier, and we were all immensely lucky to have had our lives touched by his.
His family would like to thank the many medical personnel who cared for Elmer over the years including the members and staff of Horisun Hospice and Care Consultants For The Aging. A special thank you goes to Dr. David Policky for his unfailing kindness which will never be forgotten.
Visitation will be from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 29th, with family receiving friends from 3-4 p.m. the same day at the Wyuka Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 30th at the same location. Burial with Military Honors will be in Wyuka Cemetery. Memorials to the Honor Flight organization or the Capitol Humane Society.