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William "Bill" Elbert
  • Memorials may be sent to Wounded Warrior Project, Taylor Hospice House in Des Moines, or OLIH
  • Taylor House Hospice
    3401 East Douglas
    Des Moines, IA 50317
  • Memorials may be sent to Wounded Warrior Project, Taylor Hospice House in Des Moines, or OLIH
  • Wounded Warrior Project
    4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
    Jacksonville, FL 32256

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Memorial Services of Iowa

4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“Ruth, I remember Bill and you from Storm Lake, when Aggie & I were roommates and Bill as a police officer, moved us out of an apartment building into...Read More »
1 of 13 | Posted by: Mary Vollrath - Chula Vista, CA

“Sorry for your loss Aunt Ruth. Randy Elbert and Cathy ”
2 of 13 | Posted by: A friend

“May God wraps his arms around each member of Bill's family during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. ”
3 of 13 | Posted by: Roger and Gloria Butlet - Ankeny, IA

“Ruth and Elbert Family-So sorry to hear the passing of Bill. He was a very kind neighbor on SE 7th Street. My thoughts and prayers are with your...Read More »
4 of 13 | Posted by: Dan Hunter - Friend

“ELBERT FAMILY, SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. YOU ARE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. ”
5 of 13 | Posted by: SCOTT & BECKY DILLEHAY - CARROLL, IA

“Ruth and family,I was so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I know my parents thought a lot of Bill. You are in my thoughts and prayers. ”
6 of 13 | Posted by: Dawn Dillehay Henss - Waukee, IA

“As a youngster Bill was my big brother. The years passed and when I got bigger he was my oldest brother. No matter how you look at it, he was a...Read More »
7 of 13 | Posted by: jJohn Elbert - Urbandale, IA

“My condolences to the family on your loss of your loved one. Our heavenly father will carry you through your grief. Just call on him whenever you...Read More »
8 of 13 | Posted by: Terri Adkins - Sioux Falls, SD

“The girls of Dave and Izetta Taylor; Angie, Lana and Crissy, were deeply saddened to hear of your loss! We were honored and blessed to have known...Read More »
9 of 13 | Posted by: Taylor Girls - Ankeny, IA

“May your family be blessed with the memories and laughter that Bill shared through out his life. Bill was a great guy to so many! So sorry this world...Read More »
10 of 13 | Posted by: Jim Zimmerman - Ankeny, IA

“Peggy and I are so sorry for your loss. We always loved talking to him, playing bridge and all the stories. He will be greatly missed by everyone...Read More »
11 of 13 | Posted by: Dale & Peggy Nelson - Ankeny, IA

“Elbert family, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Bill was one of the good guys, and I know how much he loved his family. Please know that my...Read More »
12 of 13 | Posted by: Chris Honeck - McPherson, KS

“Lots of great memories playing bridge.....you many times surprised us all and would take home first prize!!! How did you always do it?? ”
13 of 13 | Posted by: Jan Klinker - Ankeny, IA - Friend


Navy Emblem

William J. "Bill" Elbert, Sr., awesome husband, dad, grandpa, great grandpa, brother, uncle, friend, proud veteran, police officer, and pioneering probation officer passed away on November 25, 2016, at the age of 82. Bill will always be remembered for being an honest and compassionate person who cared deeply for his fellow human beings, especially those he considered "underdogs." Bill's wonderful sense of humor and ability to relate to all people, no matter their background, will always be cherished.
Bill was born July 25, 1934, to Mary and Arnold Elbert in Algona, Iowa. Bill volunteered at the age of 17 and served in the Korean War as a U.S. Navy Corpsman with the 3rd Medical Battalion, attached to the 3rd U.S. Marine Division. He was honorably discharged in 1959 after 19 months Foreign Service and 8 years total service to our country. Bill was honored to serve on a military detail that traveled to Iwo Jima to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of our Marine and Navy victory over the Japanese there in WWII. Our family is, not only proud of Dad's military service, but also to his brothers, John and Joe, who served in Viet Nam and Arnie, who served in Korea.
In 1957, Bill married the true love of his life, Ruth Bell, and they had three children, Bill Jr. (Sherry), Tammy (Richard Cairns) and Mike (Amy) as well as eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Dad was so proud of his children and wonderful grandchildren and great grandchildren:
Bill and Sherry Elbert: Grandchild - Jeffrey (Deanna) - Great Grandchildren Ayla and Jackson and Grandchild Jaclyn (John Michael)- Great Grandchildren Anniston and Eleanor.
Tammy and Richard Cairns: Grandchildren - Rich, Tanner and Kaitlyn.
Mike and Amy Elbert: Grandchildren - Connor, Carson and Autumn.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Mary; his sisters, Marilyn Bierstedt and Phyllis Fisher; and his brother, Arnie. Bill is survived by his sisters, Agnes Illg and Mary Arndt; and his brothers, John and Joe.
Bill and Ruth's devotion to one another and their family never wavered during their nearly 60 wonderful years of marriage. Bill and Ruth always welcomed all relatives to stay at their home, especially during difficult or trying times. Our dad was instrumental in helping us and many of our younger relatives improve during our formative years.
Bill served as a police officer in Storm Lake, Iowa, for a short time before a 34 year career as an innovative parole and probation officer for the 5th Judicial District, Department of Corrections, in Des Moines. In 1971, Bill testified before the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., about an innovative and successful pretrial release program he started in Des Moines. Throughout his career, Bill had many other notable accomplishments that served the common good.
The greatest impact of Bill's professional legacy was the many wonderful women and men he hired at the 5th Judicial District. At his retirement in 2000, Bill was honored as a true pioneer in the field of corrections. In 2012, he traveled to Washington, D.C., with his family to receive a prestigious national pretrial services award for his contributions to ensuring fairness for the many defendants he worked with.
Visitation will be at Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Church (OLIH) in Ankeny on December 1st from 6-7:30 pm with a prayer vigil at 7:30 pm. Funeral services will be held on December 2nd at 10:30 am at OLIH. Memorials may be sent to Wounded Warrior Project, Taylor Hospice House in Des Moines, or OLIH. The family of Bill wishes to thank the many doctors, nurses and staff of Iowa Methodist and the wonderful nurses of Taylor House who gently helped take care of dad and our family during this difficult time.