Elmer G. Koldoff, Jr., 83, born July 29, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois, passed away at home with his children by his side, August 14, 2020, in Peachtree City, Georgia.
Elmer was preceded in death by his wife of almost 61 years, Lois P. Koldoff, who passed away only a week ago on August 7, 2020, and by his parents, Elmer G. Koldoff, Sr. and Mildred Koldoff (Zavrel).
He is survived by his children, Jeff (Debbie), Larry (Heather), and Kristina Christy (George); grandchildren, Brian, Melissa Baraty (Kaelan), Simon, Sebastian, George Christy, and Bernice Christy; great-grandchild, Everett Baraty; and brother, Kenneth (Carole).
Elmer graduated from Lindbloom High School, Chicago, and Aeronautical University, Chicago, with an A & P License (Aircraft Maintenance). After marrying Lois, they raised their children in Hoffman Estates, Villa Park, and Lisle, Illinois, before moving to Peachtree City, Georgia, in 1989 for his work with United Airlines. Elmer was also in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves for several years when first raising a family.
He worked for more than 43 years with United Airlines, starting at Midway Airport with Capitol Airlines which merged with United. He then moved to O’Hare Airport when maintenance operations were moved there around 1960 and had some brief periods commuting to Detroit and San Francisco over the years, before moving to Atlanta as Maintenance Foreman over Atlanta and several other southeast cites. Over the years with UAL, Elmer progressed through the ranks of line mechanic, aircraft inspector, maintenance planner, maintenance foreman, and into management positions as operations manager, and station maintenance controller.
One of his big career enjoyments was working at O’Hare. During his last several years there he worked as a liaison with the City of Chicago, back when he was known as “The Snowman,” coordinating weather events and snow removal with city crews. For many years, Elmer was also a partner in the family business, Verlo Mattress in Peachtree City, until fully retiring.
Elmer was actively involved in the Masonic Lodge, had been a Master Mason for 56 years, and was a 32nd Degree Mason. Elmer was a Past Master of Palatine Lodge #314 (Palatine, IL) and Past Master of Arboretum Lodge ##1175 (Lisle, IL) which merged with Euclid Lodge # 65 (Naperville, IL). Elmer was also a Shriner member of the Medina Shriners Club in Chicago as well.
In addition to traveling around the country with Lois, he often traveled with their children and later in life grandchildren as well. Elmer enjoyed Long Lake in Sarona, WI (Northwest Wisconsin). Elmer and Lois had purchased lakefront property and built a house on it and had twenty years of memories with their kids, boating, fishing, and swimming – he loved that lake home and all the activities with family and friends that came with it.
In retirement, Elmer became involved with the Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force at Falcon Field, Peachtree City for many years. The “Wing” is a group of volunteers that restores and maintains old military aircraft.
“Colonel” Koldoff served as Maintenance Officer for all of Dixie Wing’s aircraft and ground equipment for several years. In 2014, Elmer was proud to have been awarded the FAA’s Charles E. Taylor, Master Mechanic Award, named in honor of the first aircraft mechanic. To be eligible for this award, a recipient must have served at least 50 years as an aviation mechanic and have been an FAA-certified mechanic for a minimum of 30 years. There is a plaque in United’s Terminal 1 at O’Hare with Elmer’s name on it, honoring him for this achievement. Elmer enjoyed the time he spent with members of the Dixie Wing almost as much as time spent with his children and grandchildren.
Elmer will be greatly missed by his children, grandchildren, and others who knew and loved him. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Dixie Wing in his honor.
Mowell Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fayetteville – www.mowells.com