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Richard Joseph Elfrink, 82, of Jackson and formerly of Leopold, Mo., died Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
He was born March 13, 1927, in Leopold, Mo., son of Leo and Minnie Josephine Nenninger Elfrink. He and Geneva Elizabeth Thele were married May 24, 1952, in St. John Catholic Church in Leopold. She died Feb. 26, 2009.
Richard spent many years as an educator in Bollinger County. He started teaching in 1944 at the Seiler School; he taught, served as principal and later as superintendent at Leopold R-3 School; and he taught business education, served as Woodland High School principal and retired from that school district in 1982.
He participated in many civic and community activities: board of trustees member of the Bollinger County Health Unit for 49 years, Bollinger County chairman of the Heart Fund Campaign, institutional representative for the Boy Scouts, commander of the American Legion Post 158, president of County Teachers Association, chairman of Recreation and Tourism Committee for the Bollinger County Rural Area Development Corp. and a member of the board of directors for the county historical society.
He was a member of St. John Church in Leopold until July 2007 when he and Geneva moved to Jackson and became members of Immaculate Conception Parish.
Richard served in the Navy during World War II from 1945 through 1946 and re-entered active service in 1950 through 1952. He retired from the Naval Reserve as a master chief personnelman (E-9) in 1987.
Survivors include two daughters, Mary Karen (Jerry) Roe of Cape Girardeau and JoAnn (Brian) Barrett of Marble Hill; a grandson, Scott (Kristen) Roe of Cape Girardeau; four granddaughters, Rebecca and Lisa Roe of St. Louis, Bryanna (Dustin) Wareing of Jackson and Jennifer Barrett of Murray, Ky.; a great-granddaughter, Mia Jane Roe and a special friend, Alice Keating of Marble Hill.
Also surviving are five brothers, Daniel Elfrink of Arnold, Mo., Norbert Elfrink of Benton, Mo., Alvin Elfrink of Silva, Mo., Charles Elfrink of Cape Girardeau and Nick Elfrink of Marble Hill, Mo.
Besides his wife he was predeceased by two sons, David in 1981 and Dale in 1995.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hutchings Funeral Chapel in Marble Hill. Parish prayers will be at 7 p.m. and an American Legion service at 7:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John Church at Leopold with the Rev. John Harth as celebrant. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Red Cross of American Legion Post 158 in Jackson.