Elmer H. Planetz
Elmer H. Planetz, lifelong resident of Waterville, passed away suddenly on November 12, 2013. He was 85. Elmer was born in a small farm house near Waterville and spent his early years milking cows as part of the family business, “Planetz Dairy”. He graduated from Waterville High School and began working at Waterville Auto Co. before joining the Navy in 1950. Elmer was a machinist’s mate serving on two ships based in the Pacific during the Korean conflict. During this time, he married Zoe Anderson and for a period of time they made their home in San Diego. Elmer re-joined Waterville Auto as a mechanic upon his release from the Navy in 1953 and provided expert service to local Ford & Allis Chambers owners for many years. In 1971, he and three other employees purchased Waterville Auto, where he continued his career, until the business was sold to a new owner in the late 1980’s. Elmer then repaired and drove fertilizer trucks while finishing his work life at Ken Kem Inc., before retiring in 1994.
Throughout his life, Elmer was an active member in United Lutheran Church, serving on many committees and doing volunteer work throughout the years. Carpentry and essentially anything mechanical was Elmer’s passion and over the years he made several improvements to his home and personal vehicles. Both at work and home, Elmer could always find a way to get something broken, working again. That trait, along with his quiet confidence, dry sense of humor, and kind heart, will be sorely missed.
Elmer is survived by his wife of 61 years, Zoe Planetz of Waterville, WA; son, Craig Planetz (wife, Gege) of Lake Tapps, WA; daughter, Jill Schultz (husband, Don) of Renton, WA; grandson, Christopher Schultz of Pullman, WA; granddaughters, Colleen Schultz of Renton, WA and Kyra Planetz of Lake Tapps, WA; sisters, Erma DeBlasio of Yakima, WA and Helen Bradley of San Diego, CA.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, December 13, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Waterville’s United Lutheran Church. Donations in Elmer’s name may be made to Waterville Ambulance Fund or United Lutheran Church. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guest book at jonesjonesbetts.com. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones-Betts Funeral Home.