Elmer Benjamin Gouker Jr.

Born: Wed., May 21, 1947
Died: Fri., Mar. 20, 2020

Funeral Service

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Elmer Benjamin Gouker, Jr., 72, of Myersville, MD, died on March 20, 2020 at Glade Valley Center after a year-long battle with cancer.  Born on May 21, 1947, he was the son of Dorothy M. Jacques Gouker and the late Elmer B. Gouker of Myersville.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by his brother, Kelly Gouker and wife Sandi of Middletown, niece Nikki Gouker Rudy and her husband Jason, and great nephew Cole Wheldon Rudy, whom he adored, all of Middletown.  He is also survived by many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, maternal grandmother, Naomi E. Hessong, paternal grandparents, Benjamin and Stella Gouker of Myersville, and nephew, Darrell Garner Gouker.  
He will be greatly missed by many dear friends including Mark Ahalt, Leigh Ann Ahalt, Ken Carpenter, Kim Carpenter, Mel Fair, Luke Gladhill, Marty Gladhill, Maurice Gladhill, Paul “Bunny” Harne, Kevin Long, Ricky Norris, Judy Pruitt, Jena Roop, and John Roop.
Elmer will be remembered for his quick wit, Southern twang, hearty appetite coupled with a high metabolism, and his common sense approach to life.  He was a hard-working man with a heart of gold, who was willing to help anyone.
After graduating from Middletown High School in 1966, he was drafted by the United States Army.  He served in the Vietnam War from 1969-1970 in the First Air Calvary Infantry Division. He was honorably discharged in 1970.
In his early working years, he worked construction for Wolfe Brothers, Interstate Bridge, and R.F. Kline.  There wasn’t a piece of heavy equipment he could not operate: backhoe, bulldozer, roller, grader, scraper…he could run them all and could fix them if they broke down.  He was a self-taught, skilled mechanic and welder.  He became a truck driver, and later became an owner-operator of a tractor trailer, working as a long distance truck driver for Daily Express.  He was employed by the Town of Middletown for 20 years.  A jack of all trades, he was well known by the residents of the town.  During snow storms, residents loved to see Elmer driving down their roads in the plow truck because of the efficient plowing he did.  Elmer and his co-worker Sam were so well known in the town that artist Bob Hasle often featured them in a comic strip written for the weekly newspaper, “The Citizen.”  After retiring, Elmer worked at Gladhill Tractor, where he continued to work until his illness no longer allowed him.
Elmer was a tractor and antique toy enthusiast.  He loved both Case and John Deere Tractors.  As a member of the Central Maryland Antique Tractor Club, he showed antique tractors, and then was a tractor puller for over 20 years.  He was considered a legend in the antique tractor pulling world, and was seen by many as a father figure.  His favorite types of tractor pulls were those that benefitted children in need.  He drove the tractor that pulled the wagon for hayrides at the Central Maryland Antique Tractor Club’s pull event at Gladhill Tractor for 27 years straight.  He was also a member of the Mason Dixon chapter of the American Truck Historical Society.  
Because of the current restrictions due to the health crisis, internment will be private at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Myersville.  There will be a celebration of life/memorial service to be scheduled at a later date.  
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Elmer’s name to the St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, c/o Elsie Warnock, 102 Locust Ct., Middletown, MD 21769.  
The family wishes to thank the staff at Glade Valley Center and Dr. Mouhamad Bazzi and his caring staff for their unwavering care of Elmer during his illness.  
Arrangements are being handled by Donald B. Thompson Funeral Home, Middletown.

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