Elmer Lee Wortham, age 71, of Edwardsville, IL, formerly of Granite City, IL, passed away on March 29, 2020. Elmer was born on August 22, 1948 in Granite City, IL, a son of the late Everett Wortham and Daisy (Joyce) Wortham.
Elmer grew up with his three brothers, often traveling to Dover, TN to visit family where they played basketball and helped on family farms. Elmer played high school basketball in Granite City. He attended Milliken University where he met his first wife (Janis). They met in college and shortly moved to Granite City for Elmer to start a career in the banking industry at First National Bank. He loved his job and worked there for 38 years, retiring from Regions Bank on May 1, 2006 where he served as Vice President and Operations Coordinator. Elmer gave back to the community by being heavily involved in United Way and the Lions Club. He loved antique hunting and shopping for new decorating ideas for his house.
Elmer lived in Granite City for most of his life. He moved to Florida with his second wife (Sheila). Sheila and Elmer loved to travel to new places with his brothers and their wives. They traveled to New York City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Vail, and Washington DC. Elmer took his first train ride with Sheila and his brothers on a trip to Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg. He did not shy away from any trips, even if just a few hours away like Marco Island, FL Most of the travel included spending much time shopping.
Elmer was a major sports lover: Little League Baseball, youth softball, St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, St. Louis Blues Hockey, Mizzou Football, and Mizzou Basketball. Anything regarding college basketball. Conversations occurred with his brothers, his son, his friends and anyone—about anything sports. Elmer continued his love for sports by playing basketball and volleyball as an adult. He was always a present factor and watching parent at the basketball, volleyball, and football games of his children. Elmer traveled to watch college basketball and college basketball tournaments. His life would become one big world of basketball during March Madness.
Elmer just loved food. He was an excellent cook and likely could have been a professional chef. His cornbread mimicked his mothers and he made the best pork steaks. Elmer was brave to try cooking new foods, even if he had never even eaten it, like cornbread casserole and Polenta. Still going with his love of food, Elmer likely visited most restaurants on this side of St. Louis. His favorite meal was breakfast. Many of his friends would enjoy going out for breakfast with Elmer. Super funny, Elmer may hold the record for almost burning down two kitchens in his family while cooking.
Elmer also enjoyed playing technology games with Brian (his son) and grandkids, including Clash of Clans, Subway Surfer, and skee ball games. During the holidays, moving and noise producing decorations were something that Elmer loved. He was adventurous with his children and grandchildren, going with them to rock and country concerts, out in the field collecting crabs, random sports events, arcades to play Terminator “shoot-em-up” games, and to zoos.
Elmer loved pets, especially dogs. He would spend hours with Sheila’s dog Shaggy and would often babysit all of Jennifer’s (his daughter) pets, including her cats. When she decided to go on a long international trip, Elmer took over care of her cat Samual James and would send daily “cat updates” to her through text. He was a great “pet” reader and accompanied Jennifer when she was looking for a new pet and was present at all their adoptions.
Mostly, Elmer loved people and he was all-about “family”. He really had a heartfelt fondness for all his co-workers at First National Bank in Granite City, his friends living near Boyle (a street in Granite City), and fellow sun-lovers at Paddlers Swim Club. Elmer loved spending time with anyone in the family, from nieces and nephews to even his second nieces and nephews. He made friends wherever he went, including any restaurant, visits to college campuses, and random trips to small festivals in Florida. It did not matter what you called him: Elmer, dad, brother, husband, papa, grandpa, step-dad, uncle. He was fun-loving and good to be around; his friends and family have numerous memories with Elmer to always make them smile.
Elmer is survived by his former wife and dear friend Sheila Wortham, daughter Jennifer Wortham, step-daughter Lauren McCauley, grandchildren Ryan Neal, Chase and Chloe Wortham; brothers Carl, Larry, and Rodney Wortham, sisters-in-law Elaine, Vickie, and Carol Wortham, brother-in-law Bryce Knorr, son-in-law Rob Haughey, many nieces and nephews, extended family, and numerous close friends and co-workers.
Elmer was preceded in death by his mother and father, wife Janis (Knorr) Wortham, and sons Brian Wortham and Kevin Wortham.
In celebration of his life, memorial visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road, Granite City, Illinois on Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. until time of a memorial service at 4:00 p.m..
Private burial was held at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.
Memorial donations may be given to the American Cancer Society for Lymphoma Research or Hepatic Research. Other donations could be made to the American Diabetes Association or the Lions Club International. Donations will be accepted at the funeral home.