Carter Funeral Home announces the transition of Mr. Willie Frank Elder, 76, on July 27, 2019 at his residence in the Elder Ridge Community.
He was a Decorated and Honorably Discharged Retiree of the United States Army.
Celebration of Life Services were held Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. from the sanctuary of the Pleasant Grove CME Church of the High Ridge Community.
Interment with Full Military Honors followed in the Pleasant Grove CME Cemetery. Public visitation was held Friday, August 2, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home. Mr. Elder lay in repose at the Church one hour prior to Celebration of Life Services.
Master Sergeant Willie Frank Elder was born August 20, 1942 to the late Willie I. (Perch) and Sweetie Mae Surles Elder. He entered into his final rest on Saturday, July 27, 2019. He confessed Christ at an early age and joined Pleasant Grove C.M.E. Church, where he served faithfully until his passing.
He was a member of the Male Chorus and served as a church Steward. MSG Elder provided outstanding service and dedication to the United States Army for 26 years. He was drafted September 25, 1967 and served two tours in Vietnam, the second of which out of love for his brother who he did not want to endure the hardships of battle.
During his enlistment, he received numerous accolades, awards and medals: •Army Service Ribbon •National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star •Army Achievement Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster) •Army Commendation Medal (5th Oak Leaf Cluster) •Overseas Service Ribbons (2) •Overseas Service Bars (4) •Armed Expeditionary Medal (Korea) •Meritorious Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster) Vietnam Service Medal with 5 Bronze Service Stars •Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal •Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Badge with 2 Palms •Army Good Conduct Medal (8th award) •Combat Infantryman Badge •Bronze Star Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster) and a Purple Heart After he retired on January 31, 1993, he worked as Deputy Sheriff in Savannah, GA for several years before deciding to return home to Alabama.
He was known for his jokes and the ability to bring everyone together when they were hesitant to do so.
MSG Elder was preceded in death by daughter, Debra (Reginald) Jackson and three precious sisters, Robbie L. Boone, Ethel M. Evans and Barbara Elder (Willie ‘Danny Boy’) Calhoun. He leaves to cherish his memories, five loving children, Norman Elder, Debby Elder Ashley, Nathan Shipmon, Johnny (Tiffany) Snipes (all of Atlanta, GA) and Tina Davis (Miles) Fuller of New York, NY; one loving and caring sister, CMSGT (Ret.) Patricia E. (James) Logan of Las Vegas, NV; seven brothers, Harmon C. (Doris) Elder of Fitzpatrick, AL; Solomon L. (Bobbie) Elder of Troy, AL; Larry D. Elder (Arlington, VA); Michael W. Lee (Atlanta, GA), Warren (Reba) Hooten of Chandler, AZ and Charles Green (Panama City, FL); two Great Uncles, Paris Elder (Fitzpatrick, AL) and Benjamin Elder (Orlando, FL).
A host of grandchildren, dedicated nieces, highlighting Sabrina Calhoun Blackmon (Joseph) of Montgomery, AL who assisted with his daily tasks, loving nephews, cousins, other relatives, neighbors and devoted friends.
Frank especially enjoyed his time with his close buddies, James ‘Sweetheart’ Gray, Jr., A.R. Andrews, C.W. Nelson, Pete Huffman and Willie Joe Colvin.
The Staff of Carter Funeral Home is honored to support the Elder family with End of Life Services.