Baseball, social events keep local veteran young at heart

From starting work on the family farm at a young age to being drafted into World War II, Elmer Potter was dedicated to doing what was right for both his family and his country.

Born March 28, 1928, to Elmer and Helen Potter in Gill, Massachusetts, he has three sisters and one brother. Elmer, the oldest, was the first of the children to work on Jarvais Farm in Adams, Massachusetts, at the tender age of 10 years old. He described his parents as strict, but very caring.

Potter was still tending to work at Jarvais Farm in 1946 when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He said boot camp was arduous. He went on to be a drill instructor in Nagasaki, Japan, during World War II. Staff Sergeant Potter received many medals for his service, and said he has such fond memories of Japan that he’d love to go back for a visit.

After being honorably discharged from the military in 1949, Potter lived in North Adams, Massachusetts, working as a delivery driver for Ralston Purina, delivering feed to dairy and poultry farms. His delivery area was eastern New York and western Massachusetts.

His lifelong hobbies include fishing, hiking, being outdoors and flying planes with his private pilot’s license. He was a devoted husband to Angela, who has passed away. They have two children, David and Helen.

Now a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes – Caribou, he enjoys reminiscing and looking at old pictures he keeps in his room, going out with his son on nice days and visiting his farm in Fort Kent. 

Potter loves going on bus rides with other residents at the Home, and especially enjoys picnics. He likes to keep up with current events by watching the news, loves reruns of “M*A*S*H” and you can often catch him listening to country music from the 1950s. He also likes baseball — watching and playing.

He said he loves to eat, and if he were to come up with the perfect menu, it would include steak, salad, apples (fresh, during fall) or anything Italian.

Potter was the is September Veteran of the Month at the Caribou home.  

Maine Veteran’s Homes is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves honorable discharged Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. Gold Star parents have lost a child who was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died in battle or in support of certain military activities.

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