Elmer Ward Taplin


October 6, 1917 - November 11, 2011


Elmer Ward Taplin was born October 6, 1917 at Timber Lake, SD to Charles and Lillian Taplin. He attended a one room school until 8th grade and then went to Madison School, which was a boarding school in Timber Lake. The family moved to Hackensack, MN where Elmer graduated from high school. Elmer ran a trucking company for his brother Clyde in Bacus, MN. In 1939 he started work as a mechanic at Rozum’s in Mitchell and quickly became service manager. He married Genevieve Johnson August 12, 1942 at Mt. Vernon, SD.

They started Taplin’s Service in 1952 at the corner of 1st and Main Street in Mitchell. During the time they were in business Elmer was very active in the Mitchell community. He was a member of the Y’s Men’s Club and a charter member of First Lutheran Church, serving on the council for two years. He helped build the daycare center of Mitchell now owned by the City of Mitchell and also helped initiate the Y’s Men’s Club which is now Mitchell Recreation Center of Mitchell.

Elmer also served on the Mitchell City Council during the 1950’s. He has been active in the Lion’s Club for many decades, in fact went to the Lion’s Club meeting the day of his accident. He was a active member of Resurrection Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his daughter, Sherry Lee Fincher and husband, Bob, Castle Rock, CO; two grandchildren: Matthew Ward Theis and Sarina Theis Collins, two great-grandchildren: Shelby Sky Collins and Takoda Marcus Collins, sister-in-law, Lucille Koch, West Bend, WI.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve in 2005, brothers: Ford, Howard, Clyde and sister, Lillian Williams and brothers-in-law: Doyle and Darrell Johnson.

A Memorial Fund has been established to Resurrection Lutheran Church.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Thursday, November 17, 2011
10:30 AM
Resurrection Lutheran Church
4013 North Main Street
Mitchell, South Dakota


Trinity Lutheran Cemetery
Rural Letcher, South Dakota

Posted by Ruth Taplin on November 20, 2011
we loved Uncle Elmer, appreciated his smile and kindness. They were from the Great Generation that suffered and rejoiced with America and all it;s values. Rose and I got to visit him in 2010 when in SD, with Sherry too.
Posted by Irvin and Harriet Taplin on November 18, 2011
We were sorry to hear of Uncle Elmer's passing. We have fond memories of him and Aunt Genevieve stopping here to visit us in Chetek, WI. after visiting her sister in West Bend. We always had a great time...him teasing our kids and them teasing him! We did enjoy visiting with them in their home too.
Posted by Tania (Taplin) Stephens on November 18, 2011
We were shocked to hear of Uncle Elmer passing away, we didn't hear til after his funeral~ He is a great uncle~ We had great memories visiting them in Mitchell,SD, though it wasn't very often~ My granpa is Clyde and my dad is Irv Taplin
Posted by J Nunnally on November 16, 2011
The passing of a loved one is difficult. I know it was a heartfelt time for me. Therefore, I'd like to share scripture that may help. Please, read John 6:40, 44 and Ps. 36:9.
Posted by Julie(Johnson) Dunham and Archie Dunham on November 14, 2011
We are so sad about Elmers passing. He was a wonderful uncle to me and Archie always loved' talking cars' with him. All of the good memories of my life with Elmer will stay with me forever, and when I think of him it will warm my heart. I know he will love driving in Heaven!
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