Cover photo for Robert S. Elder's Obituary
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1968 Robert 2022

Robert S. Elder

September 30, 1968 — September 28, 2022

Harrisburg

With heavy and bewildered hearts, we reluctantly share that Robert Sherwood Elder (Robert, Robby and/or Bobby) died early on September 28, 2022, only a couple days before his 54th birthday. He was born to Barbara Nissley Elder and John Sharretts Elder on September 30,1968 and grew up in Westfield, New Jersey.

He had been living with his father in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and had begun to get back on the path of recovery after struggling with alcoholism for many years when he died suddenly.

In addition to his father, Robert is grieved by his aunt, Emma Van Auken, his 5 siblings Anne Elder, Lee LaCroix, Mike Elder, Pete Elder and Martin Elder, and his three nieces and five nephews: Mahogany Mazzie, Hannah, Rebecca and Sam LaCroix, Frankie, Scottie, Jack and William Elder, and his cousin Steve Van Auken.  And he had many good friends who will mourn his abrupt departure from this world.

Robert received a bachelor’s in music in 1991 through his studies at Manhattan School of Music and Temple University and soon afterwards received a master’s degree in Music from Ball State University.  Early on in his life, Robert knew that music would be his avocation.  He began his exploration with a brief stint playing the family piano, then onto the violin and finally found his calling as a violist.  He played with numerous symphonies and orchestras over the years, most recently with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra as well as the Haddonfield Symphony.

Robert had an irrepressible sense of humor, a sharp wit and was enormously creative.  Over the years, Robert has drawn countless, sometimes creepy, sometimes enticingly repulsive and almost always hilarious cartoons.  At one point, he had a weekly column in the local paper in Chattanooga.  In addition, he was known to don his Bat Guy costume and compete in hot dog eating competitions.  He was also an early adopter of the food rescue movement, dumpster diving for sandwiches to supplement his diet as a student, He then continued the practice as a nostalgic endeavor in the years afterward.

If you would like to honor Robert’s memory, find some funny jokes, and share them with those who could benefit from a good laugh and a lighter heart.  Go out for a walk in nature, stop to notice what’s going on and tap into the bewildering beauty around you.

Robert died way too soon and we miss him so much.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert S. Elder, please visit our flower store.

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