Robert B. Elmer

Robert B. Elmer was born in Coalville, Utah, on Jan. 26, 1947, to Josephine and Mark Elmer. He passed away on Tuesday, June 20, at his home in Casper.

Bob grew up with his mother, his father, three sisters (Janice, Diane and Patsy) in Evanston, where he attended school. He was very active at EHS in student government and sports and was elected as student body president for the 1964-65 school year. He was also selected as an all-state football player on Evanston’s only undefeated football team in the fall of 1964.

Bob was offered football scholarships out of high school, but decided to go to college as a student. He attended the University of Wyoming and Weber State College, where he was an honor student. In 1966, Bob married Eileen Taggart. They had a daughter, Andrea; and a son, David, from the marriage.

While attending college and working, Bob was asked by the family to come home to help run the family business when his father was diagnosed with leukemia. When his father unexpectedly stabilized, he decided to go back to school. With six months before the semester, he took a temporary job with his sister, Diane, and her husband in their newspaper in Powell.

There, before returning to school, Bob met a local banker who offered him a job in his property and casualty insurance agency, so he took the job, as it was better than most would be after college. It also provided a very superior insurance education than most would never get, all over the country, mostly with The Hartford Insurance Group.

While in Powell, Bob and Eileen divorced in 1973. On April 1, 1974, he married Karen Hildreth, daughter of John and Frankie Hildreth of Powell. Shortly after, an automobile accident took the life of Bob’s former wife and his daughter, Andrea. His son, David, survived and grew up with Bob and Karen in Powell.

Bob eventually became the manager of Nelson Associates Insurance agency that grew to a very substantial size under his management and leadership. He was one of only five agents in the Rocky Mountain Region who was given commercial policy pricing authority by The Hartford Insurance Company.

Bob was active in the community of Powell. He was elected Powell Country Club President and served as president of the local chamber of commerce, as well. During his time with the chamber, Bob was very instrumental in the raising of the Buffalo Bill Dam near Cody, bringing in a US Air Force base that was a boon to the economy for years. When it did finally close, the substantial housing and a large commissary were donated to Northwest Community College.

In addition, Bob was instrumental in increasing the retail shopping in Powell.In 1982, the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce nominated him as one of the “Outstanding Young Men in America.” He was a member of the Powell Jaycees, Kiwanis and Target Powell Valley, as well. While in Powell, Bob and Karen started a men’s clothing store and a Century 21 Real Estate Agency.

Bob loved his family so much. The family did many things together. They went on many fishing and camping trips. Lily Lake near the Wyoming/Montana border was a favorite place to go. Bob also coached little league football and baseball for many years.

He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing town league basketball and softball. Bob and Karen followed Dave for years in his successful sports endeavors. He, Karen, and Dave loved animals and had numerous pets over the years.

In 1988, after Dave had gone to college, Bob and Karen sold the real estate agency and moved to Laramie where Bob worked in real estate and eventually got back into the insurance business. In 1989, the family moved to Green River, where Bob managed an insurance agency until 1990. In 1992, Bob and Karen moved to Rock Springs and purchased an insurance agency.

Bob Elmer Insurance Group Inc. was started in 1992 by Bob and Karen as a small local property and casualty insurance agency insuring homes, autos, small business and a few larger accounts. Karen took a position at Western Wyoming Community College and was the assistant to the president when she retired. Bob became a certified insurance councilor, and the agency grew rapidly. After graduating from college, his son Dave joined the agency.

The boundaries of service of Bob Elmer Insurance Group expanded to much of Wyoming and parts of Utah and Colorado, with clients in other states, as well. The focus of the business had evolved and it started to service much larger firms and provided contract bonding for many contractors in the western part of the country.

By the time the agency was sold in 2006, it was a regional agency, licensed in 10 states and had grown to be one of the largest family-owned agencies in Wyoming. The agency won 12 National “Best Practices” awards and was highly respected in the industry on a regional basis by clients and insurance companies, as well.

While Bob and Karen are very proud of the business accomplishments, maybe the most satisfying were the communications from so many former employees with thanks for teaching them that “honesty and empathy” were the two largest watch words of the business. Many have gone on to higher level careers and have credited much of their success to what they learned while at businesses owned by the Elmers.

After selling the agency, Bob and Karen moved back to Evanston, where they built a new home and retired. They later moved to Casper to be closer to their son and his family.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Andrea; and his sisters, Janice and Diane. He is survived by his son, Dave (Wendy); grandson, Keaton; and sister, Patsy.

At his request, cremation has taken place and no service will be held.