Obituary for Elmer Raymond Vogel
Elmer Raymond Vogel, 93, passed away on Friday, March 31, 2017 after a lengthy but courageous battle with bone cancer.
Elmer was born on January 12, 1924 in Louisville, KY to Anna Elizabeth and William Andrew Vogel. His father was employed as a pipe fitter for the New York Central Railroad which allowed the family opportunities to travel by train. This began Elmer’s life-long interest in railroading and the steam engine. Elmer graduated from DuPont Manual High School in 1942.
During WWII, Elmer served as a B-24 ball turret gunner, assigned to the 307th Bomb Group in the Pacific Theater from 1943-1945. His crew completed 41 missions flying from island bases in New Guinea and the Philippines. Elmer was famous for regaling friends and family with detailed stories of the Balikpapan oil refinery raid, bombing missions to the Philippines or daily living in the tropical jungles. Personal memories of this time of his life were vivid and always welcomed by the family.
At the end of the war, Elmer returned to Louisville to marry his sweetheart, Ruth Lyons. He was employed by International Harvester as a welding foreman for 32 years until retirement in 1977. Immediately after his retirement, Elmer volunteered with the Kentucky Railway Museum. In 1979, Elmer began assisting the Museum in restoring steam locomotive #152. Full restoration was completed in 1985. In 1982, Elmer served on the KRM Board of Directors and in 1983 became Public Relations Director.
Highly involved in church for all of his life, Elmer served as a deacon and lay minister, visiting the sick in hospitals. He was steadfast in his love of God and always willing to share his faith with anyone. He had great compassion for others and never met a stranger. His easy smile and love of life will be deeply missed.
His loving wife of 71 years, Ruth preceded him in death 5 months earlier. His youngest daughter, Susan passed in 2012.
Mr. Vogel is survived by two children: son, Peter Vogel (Lisa) and daughter, Kathy Brooks (Michael); two grandchildren, Elizabeth Weitlauf and Benjamin Brooks (Jeanette); one great-grandson, Mason Cohea; and Elmer’s two sisters, Mildred Sedoris and Viola Allen.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, April 11th at 11am at Buechel Park Baptist Church with burial to follow in Resthaven Memorial Park.
Visitation will be 4-7 pm Monday at Highlands Funeral Home, 3331 Taylorsville Road, Louisville, KY 40205.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to Buechel Park Baptist Church.