Eldon Clarence Coulter, 94, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 12, 2023.
Eldon was a lifelong resident of the Bear Creek (rural Earlham) area. He was born on January 28, 1929 in rural Linden, IA to Clarence and Orpha Myrle (Hadley) Coulter. They moved to the Coulter family farm north of Earlham when he was two years old.
Eldon attended Hillside Country School through 8th grade, and graduated from Redfield High School in 1947. He took over the family farm at age 19 following his father’s stroke, and continued farming well into his 80’s. He was honored to receive the Heritage Farm Award in 2018, signifying 150 years of family ownership.
Eldon and Marilyn Louise Ludeke were married on February 28, 1954 in Clear Lake, IA. They made their home on the farm where they raised their three children. He was a member of Bear Creek Friends Church, serving on numerous committees and digging graves at the Bear Creek cemetery for many years.
People enjoyed Eldon’s sense of humor and quick wit. He was a hard-working, dependable man of his word. In addition to his crops and livestock, he enjoyed raising dalmatians and chickens. He loved to drive by the freshly walked bean fields, admiring the clean rows that were a result of his family’s hours of labor.
Eldon loved puttering with wood, and was very creative in making wooden canes, barnboard frames, ironing boards, and stools. He enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles in the winter, and was always up for a game of cribbage with any willing competitor. Digging through his candy jar for just the right piece annoyed his family, but kept him occupied. His children and granddaughter were his greatest source of pride. (But before they came along, it might’ve been his reserve champion 4-H Angus steer in 1946!)
Eldon’s parents and two sisters, Eloise Maxson and Martha Mendenhall, preceded him in death. He will be greatly missed and always remembered by Marilyn, his wife of 69 years; his children Eldonna, Juanita, and Lance Coulter, all of Earlham; his cherished granddaughter Emma Marilyn Klocke and her husband Mitchell of Indianola; his brother Marvin (Melanie) Coulter of Redfield; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Graveside services will be held on Friday, June 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Bear Creek Cemetery; 16084 Bear Creek Road; rural Earlham.
Memorials may be directed to the family. They plan to purchase benches for the Bear Creek cemetery, as Eldon always wished for a place to sit as he visited the graves of family and friends.