James Oliver Elder

Major James Oliver Elder, USMC (Retired) passed away on August 9, 2022 at the age of 99. Born on March 5, 1923, he was the son of Arthur Blanton Elder and Inez Staub Elder. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Jim was a graduate of Dallas Technical High School. He attended North Texas Agricultural College. He left college in 1942 to enlist in the Marine Corps. Major Elder served his country valiantly for 30 years. During World War II, Major Elder served as a turret gunner attached to a Marine night fighter squadron in the Bismarck Archipelago, and participated in combat in the Pacific area on Guadalcanal, the Russells, Bougainville and Velelavela as an Enlisted Marine. After the war Major Elder met and married the love of his life, Dorcas P. Marshall of Welch, West Virginia. They were happily married for 77 years. His surviving family in addition to his loving and devoted wife are , his children Toni Elder Alexeff (Gene) and Terry Elder Privette (Doug); grandchildren, Emily Hall (Spencer), Mandy McNabb (Clint), Jenny Gray (Jesse); great-grandchildren, Andrew, Kaitlyn, Aimee and Gabe Hall, Jane, Mark, Neil and Ruth McNabb and Naomi, Bell and Josie Gray. In 1952, during the Korean War Major Elder served with 1st Shore Party Battalion. He then served with the 2nd Marine division and 2nd Marine Air Wing. He participated in numerous Caribbean and Mediterranean deployments and operations in Lebanon, Cuba, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Haiti. While stationed in Japan in 1959, he participated in the Laos operation. Major Elder served two tours of duty in Viet Nam between 1965 and 1970 in Chu Lai and Da Nang. While there he served as Shore Party Company Commander, Battalion Commander and the Logistical Support Group commander. He received the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" for his meritorious service, the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry, the Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal and many other awards and honors. Upon retirement, Jim and Dorcas made their home in Havelock, North Carolina, returning to their friends and their church, Trinity Presbyterian, where they served as Elders and taught Sunday school. Jim worked for many years as a general contractor, a licensed master plumber and an electrician. He served as chairman of the Havelock Planning Board and was president of the Lion's Club. Jim was a caterer for pig pickins and a competitor in barbecue cook offs with his best friend Willis Peaden. Together they won the NC State Championship and were featured in Southern Living Magazine in June, 1988. Jim loved golf and fishing, his Thursday afternoon pool games with friends and talking. He loved his country, his family and his church. He loved well and was loved well in return. He will be missed. Arrangements are by Wilkerson Funeral Home & Crematory. Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com