Cover photo for Thomas Edward Elkjer's Obituary
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1943 Thomas 2024

Thomas Edward Elkjer

June 6, 1943 — January 17, 2024

Hewitt, Texas

Thomas Edward Elkjer of Hewitt, Texas, known to friends and family as Tom, passed away on January 17, 2024, at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, Texas, at the age of 80.

Tom was born on June 6, 1943, in Willmar, Minnesota, the eldest son of Betty and Byron Elkjer. After high school, he began working at Marathon Battery (later Marathon Power Technologies) and moved his family, including children Barbara and Paul, to New York State. In 1971, Marathon opened a manufacturing plant in Waco, Texas, where the family eventually settled.

Tom met Carmen, the love of his life, when working at a maquiladora in Brownsville in the 80s. The two wed in 1988 and returned to Hewitt where they raised their children, Jaime and Karlos. In his retirement, Tom worked at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course, where he both played and taught the game that he loved so much.

Tom was a pursuer of knowledge. He always had facts, histories, and, of course, opinions at the ready. As a young boy, he was active in the Boy Scouts, accumulating badges, rising ranks, and eventually becoming a counselor at Many Point Scout Camp. This affinity for the outdoors continued into adulthood through hours spent hunting and fishing.

During his time at Marathon, Tom experienced diverse cultures and languages. He traveled the world — from the Middle East to Europe to South America — and saw more ways of living than most people dream possible. These travels colored the rest of his life. If you brought up Rome, Israel, or Egypt, Tom could not hold back his amazement at the wondrous structures built by such ancient technology. On the flip side, if you brought up former Yugoslavia, Tom would assert that the region lacked culture, but then would take the time to explain the complexities that result from a country being made up of many separate countries, in a way that only he could.

Tom was proud of everything he did and saw throughout his life, but above all, Tom was proud of his family. He was the glue that bound together the Minnesota Elkjers and the Texas Elkjers and, when he married Carmen, he brought the Palmers into the mix to create a truly beautiful family.

Tom’s legacy continues with his wife, Carmen Elkjer of Hewitt, TX; his four children, Barbara (and Jim) Hopps of Keene, TX, Paul (and Kim) Elkjer of Dallas, TX, Jaime (and Mandy) Palmer of Dallas, TX, and Karlos (and Leslie) Palmer of Austin, TX; his siblings, Mary Elkjer of Willmar, MN, Jerry (and Mollie) Elkjer of Spicer, MN, Jane (and Lee) Radzak of Willmar, MN, Dan (and Bobbi) Elkjer of Willmar, MN, and John (and Julie) Elkjer of Holualoa, HI; nine grandchildren, Michael (and Cassie) Lamb, Kristin (and Josh) Boone, Eryn Hopps, Erin and Brooke Elkjer, Howard Liam and Ana Sofía Palmer, Catherine “Cate” Marta and Carmen “Betty” Elizabeth Palmer; two great-grandchildren, Caden and Mayson; and many other relatives and loved ones.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth “Betty” Mary Elkjer and Byron Edward Elkjer.

A service honoring Tom’s life will be at Grace Gardens in Woodway, TX on Saturday, February 3 at 3:00 p.m.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Grace Gardens Funeral Home

8220 Woodway Drive, Woodway, TX 76712

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