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William Arthur Eltzholtz passed away peacefully in his home, surrounded by his family, on August 16, 2021.
A resident of Lee’s Summit, Missouri he is survived by his wife of 63 years, Lavon, sons Bill and Bob, and daughter Lori, as well as two grandsons Nathan (wife Allison) and Mitchell and 3 great granddaughters Emerson, Eleanor and Marlee.
Bill was born to Arthur and Ruth Eltzholtz in Chanute Kansas on January 16, 1937. After graduating from high school in 1954 he attended Neosho County Community College in Chanute Kansas and Kansas State College of Business.
Bill spent his career in retail sales working for Pepsi, Taystee Bread and Procter and Gamble.
While at Procter and Gamble he devised a strategy to increase shelf space for diapers that was then adopted throughout the company. He received outstanding performance awards for 1979, 1980 and 1986.
In retirement he stayed active, operating a Dr Vinyl franchise as well as volunteering at the Union Station Kansas City.
An accomplished photographer, Bill applied this skill to diverse projects such as photographing every courthouse in Missouri, and creating a guide to Route 66 in Missouri and Kansas. He embraced desktop publishing to create albums of particular interest to him.
He also did research on the Eltzholtz name, finding many more Eltzholtz’s around the world and creating the Eltzholtz Family book.
Mr. Eltzholtz was an active member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks in Sedalia, Kansas City, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs where he served as Treasurer, Secretary, Exalted Ruler, District Deputy. He was also the District Deputy for the West Central District of Missouri. He was Officer of the year in 2003, and received awards for outstanding service as National Foundation Chairman in 1989 and 1990.
Bill is deeply loved and will be very much missed.
Please donate to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in memory of Bill.
Lori Eltzholtz says
Bill is my father, Dad, Papa. I love him very much. I learned a lot from him too, right down to the end when I saw how prepared he was for the end.
My Dad’s favorite hobbies, as he wrote in one of his magazines/books, are photography, travel, and cars. We took some trips in the late 2000s that allowed my Papa to use these hobbies. We traveled to every Missouri County seat where my Dad photographed the courthouses. We traveled on old Route 66 on those trips.
In the early 2010s, we decided to drive on old Rt. 66 across Missouri going from the west to the east, ending up in St. Louis. We discovered some tricky parts. This led my Dad to decide we would write up how to drive on Rt. 66. We started with west to east by going into Oklahoma to map the 13 miles Rt. 66 travels through Kansas. I wrote the driving instructions. Another trip, we started in St. Louis to map east to west. Dad took photos. He used a desktop publishing program to create the Route 66 Auto Tour Guide of Missouri and Kansas.
He had cobbled together the idea of this guide, which he took into Rt. 66 businesses to sell his Auto Tour Guide. He even needed tape from one store to keep the mock-up together. Those pages did get commitments from retailers to sell his guide. Later he made solo trips to get other businesses to sell the Auto Tour Guide, once it had taken form in color. As Dad used to say, with a certain knowing tone, “Selling’s tough. I could never do it.”
Dad never intended to make money on the Auto Tour Guide. It did allow him to find a local printer after the one he was using closed. Eventually the guide went from stapled to spiral bound. It, and the magazine/booklet he made for the courthouses called Missouri Mansions, are our treasures. Dad also created one for The Colors of Fall 2012, which like Missouri Mansions, was just for us.
My Papa also read the comics, and noticed the comic strip Zippy the Pinhead offered tips to people included within the strip. He decided to go out and take photos, with Mom and me going along. He submitted 19 photos that Bill Griffith used in his Zippy strips. That led to a few write ups in The Kansas City Star highlighting the city’s appearance in the comic strip. And yes, he created a spiral bound book of these. In these things, Dad has taught us you never know where your hobbies will lead you.
I will miss my father so very much. He will stay with us, as long as we remember the impact he made in our lives. He will aid us as we remember how responsible he was. My Dad will live within us. I still miss him so.
Dude Shields says
Lavon,Billy,Bobby and Laurie. I want you to know how sorry we are for your loss. I want to tell you personally how much I appreciated Bill for making me feel welcome to your family when I married Deb in 1977. He always made me fill comfortable and I appreciated it so much. God Bless you all.
Robert Eltzholtz says
My father here is everywhere. I encounter him as I sit in his chair, as I walk into his room, as I amble about his yard. I drift about his accomplishents displayed in his man cave.
I thrill to a wonderful vacation he took us on in 1973. I remember the Christmas when he placed little license plates in the tree that led my brother and me to the garage to see our new bicycles. I admire his travels to Missouri courthouses and on Route 66.
I respect his work ethic, his drive, his creativity.
As I sat by him in those last hours, I witnessed his bravery and dignity in the face of death.
I treasure my wonderful father and his love for my mom, my sister, my brother, and me. I miss him so much already and will love him forever.
Rest in peace, Paw.
DONNA M DAVIDSON says
Bill, my cousin by marriage to Lavon you will be missed. Never forgetting the card magic tricks you showed us as kids. Your height and how you had to duck to walk down the hallway in our home. The smirk you got on your face when up to something no good. The wisdom and strength you possessed and shared. The love you had for Lavon and your family. Never forgotten.
Martha Finney Bross says
Although this is extremely belated, I do offer my sincere condolences. You all, Lavon, Lori, Bill, and Bob were so fortunate to have had him in your lives. I knew Bill from the time we were in “pre school” and he was my good friend. I knew when I hadn’t heard from him that something “not good” was happening. I am so sorry that I am late with this, but I truly just found out today. My love to all of you. (Thanks for including the great picture of him in his white dinner jacket…1956 was a very good year!)
Lori Eltzholtz says
It has been a year since my beloved Papa died. I miss him every day. I miss talking with him. I miss helping him with his projects. I miss him being the head of the household. I miss his sayings.
He used to say the golden years are when you give your gold to the medical profession.
When working on the computer, he learned this, and said Pay attention, or pay pay pay.
If something was up high, he said it was tall like a tree.
He called his Dodge Grand Caravan “Vandura” teaching me that once GMC made a Vandura.
I remember him every day. We keep our loved ones alive within us by remembering them. By saying, oh, Dad would have enjoyed this. Papa, you are the best.