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  Eldon Lee Maier

 

Eldon Lee Maier was born March 25, 1914, in the Fairmont Community to Willie Maier and his wife Lizzie Matthews Maier. He passed away on January 2, 2018, at the age of 103 years, 9 months, 7 days. The oldest of five children, Eldon survived all his siblings – Leland “Bud” Maier, Rose Maier Davis, Opal Maier Crandall and Robert Maier.

Eldon knew first-hand the hardships people faced especially during World War I. He often told stories to family and friends about walking two miles to school and back, doing chores before breakfast and bedtime, in all types of weather. Growing up on the family farm, Eldon developed a love of the earth very early. This love of earth would continue through his sons, Jerry and Joe, and a grandson, Jordan. He and his brothers, Leland and Robert, farmed the family place together for many years. Combines and tractors were being introduced during their farming years, most of their work came from their hands and backs, with the help of horses, mules and oxen. Farming for Eldon was in his blood, after retirement he continued to plant a large garden every year, he and Otella would can and preserve all the produce.

He married Wanda Otella Burdett on November 27, 1940, and they worked side by side their married life, a total of 70 years. 

Hardships were part of his life, not only in the very physical work he did on the farm, but also in his personal life. A deadly tornado passed over the River Road area on April 10, 1944, destroying the home of Eldon and his wife, Otella. Both survived the disaster, but worry and dread were present when looking for his wife, who was carried a distance from their home site and found some time later.

Eldon was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Stuttgart, and also attended Hunter’s Chapel in Casscoe in his later years. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, a board member of Farmers Protective Insurance, and the oldest stockholder at Farmers & Merchants Bank of Stuttgart. He was active beyond his years, proud to be the oldest truck driver on Producer’s Rice Mill lot, still driving the big truck in to the mill at the age of 95 years. He enjoyed attending the horse races and casino trips with his friends and family.  He and Otella enjoyed fellowship with other couples playing cards, camping, square dancing, trips to the river, and attending the Senior Citizens Center.  

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, his wife of 70 years, Otella Maier, and a daughter-in-law, Kerry Maier.

He is survived by two sons, Jerry (Debbie) Maier, and Joe Maier (Polly Franzen) of Stuttgart, and a former daughter-in-law, Terri Maier; seven grandchildren, Myra (Mark) Duke (Stuttgart), Jason Maier (Little Rock), Justin Maier (Florida), Jared and Jordan (Ashley) Maier (Stuttgart), Jessica (Justin) Reidhar (DeWitt), and Tyler Franzen;  seven great-grandchildren, Haley and Hayden Duke, Corbin, Jayda and Mia Maier, Kenzie and Keylee Reidhar; a sister-in-law, Mary Maier, and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family wishes to thank Patrica Scott and Tresa O’Neal for their wonderful love and care for Eldon, and also Arkansas Hospice, Dr. Noble Daniel, and Amy Branson.

Visitation will be from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 5, 2018 at Turpin Funeral Home.

Funeral services are 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 6, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church (120 West 7th Street) in Stuttgart.

The family suggests memorials to Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie, 921 E. Fourth, Stuttgart, Ark. 72160; or Presbyterian Church, 120 W. Seventh, Stuttgart, Ark. 72160.
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