CHARLEVOIX TOWNSHIP — Elbert W. Kaiser, 86, of Charlevoix Township, died peacefully on April 20, 2013, in Charlevoix, of natural causes following a brief illness.
Elbert was born May 29, 1926, in River Rouge, to Laurel Crozier and Webster Kaiser. Elbert was an intelligent and inquisitive child who liked to study and tinker with things.
He served in World War II in the Pacific Theatre as a Corporal with the 145th Regiment, 37th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Elbert saw action in the Philippines. Near the end of his service Elbert served in the Military Police to maintain order in Manila. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star Medal for service to his country.
After the war he earned a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he also met his wife, Beverly Van Patten, a talented musician. Elbert and Beverly had three children and a wonderful life together. The couple celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary last year.
Elbert enjoyed a successful career in the cement industry and became a nationally recognized expert in his field. Rising to management positions over the years, his work took him to Ohio, California and many cities throughout Michigan. He started his professional career as chemical engineer for the Peerless Cement division of the American Cement Corporation. In quick succession his career advanced first to assistant plant manager, then to plant manager. Elbert was later promoted to operations manager at Peerless, where he was in charge of the overall functioning of the company, which included the processes of manufacturing, engineering and working with the technical groups. After moving on from Peerless Elbert took the plant manager position at Medusa’s Charlevoix plant. After overseeing expansion of the Charlevoix plant Elbert assumed an operations manager’s position for Medusa, overseeing operations of all the cement plants within the Medusa organization. Elbert left Medusa for a brief stint with Lone Star cement company in California before returning to Charlevoix and settling in as the Medusa plant manager in Charlevoix.