Fred Thomas "Tony" Elzen, Sr. passed away at his home on Thursday, August 2, 2012. Visitation was held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5 p.m. and a Rosary followed at 7 p.m. A funeral mass was held at 10 a.m. today (Monday, August 6, 2012) at St. Paul Catholic Church in Minden. Interment followed at Gardens of Memory Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Ken Burnham, Jr., Richard Campbell, Tommy Elshout, O. H. Haynes, Jr., William Hilburn and Butch Peaker. Honorary pallbearers were Roger Anderson, Al Carter, Willard McClung, Jerry Rogers and all of the members of William's Monday Night Poker Group.
Tony was born on May 10, 1921 in Minden. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary and Joseph Elzen and his wife, Doris Gruner Elzen.
He is survived by his three sons, Fred Thomas Elzen, Jr. and wife, Kay of Minden, Walter Rodney Elzen and wife, Jonna of Olive Branch, Mississippi and Kenneth Don Elzen and wife, Debra of Tyler, Texas; grandchildren, Amy Rudd and husband, Robert; Courtney Moro; Whitney Howell and husband, Jeff, Chris Elzen and Jennifer Smith and husband, Reid; great-grandchildren, Ellyot Hites, Katie Hites, Savannah Moro, Jake Moro and Gray Howell.
Tony was self-employed for many years as the owner of Elzen's Grocery, the store founded by his parents in the early 1900s. He then worked in insurance sales with Metropolitan Life Insurance. He retired in 1980 from Metropolitan, but the leisure life of retirement did not fit him and he returned to work at Ken Burnham Chevrolet. He remained there until 2001 and retired again at the age of 80.
Tony served his community for many years, including service on the Minden Volunteer Fire Department and the Minden Rescue Squad. He was elected and served as the Public Utilities Commissioner from 1958-1966.
Tony, a lifelong resident of Minden, was known to most as Pappaw. He was a member of the 1939 Minden High School Football State Championship Team and carried this school spirit forward for many years as the Voice of the Crimson Tide. Tony's refuge was golf and he held a special place in his heart for Pines Hills Country Club, where in recent years the Tony Elzen Classic was held. Even at age 80, he could still shoot his age and many said he owned the golden putter!
Anyone who knew Tony never ceased to be amazed by his smile, his independence and his passion for living even in the later years of his life. He loved to talk local politics and sports, especially LSU Tigers.
Minden was home to Tony in every sense of the word. He loved Minden and Minden loved him. He once said, as he was grinning, that Minden was the greatest city in the world and that he couldn't live anywhere else!
In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorials be made to St. Paul Catholic Church in Minden.Subscribe to Read!