Obituaries » Harvey Francis Elder
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July 20, 1932 - November 10, 2021
Harvey Francis Elder, 89, of Brookneal passed away Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at home. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Joyce C. Elder.
Harvey was born in Brookneal, July 20, 1932, son of the late Dr. Thornton O. Elder, DVM and Inez Woodall Elder. He was a lifelong, active member, of Falling River Baptist Church where he served as Deacon for over 50 years, Treasurer of over 22 years, Board of Trustees for over 45 years, on the Christian Education Committee for over 28 years and served on many other committees. He loved his church family and the people of Brookneal. He was very knowledgeable, and many people came to him for advice.
Harvey graduated from Brookneal High School on June 6, 1950 and enrolled the next day at VPI College in the Animal Husbandry Class. After graduating he was assigned by the State of Virginia as DHIA supervisor in Prince William County, Manassas, testing 26 dairies per month. Harvey liked his job, but in late 1953 the Ford dealer in Brookneal offered him a job he couldn’t refuse, back in his hometown. He created a real sales record, and in late 1955 H & L Chevrolet came after him with a better deal, so he switched to selling Chevrolets in Brookneal. He married Joyce on September 5, 1958, who worked at Nationwide Insurance in Lynchburg. Nationwide talked him into opening an office in Brookneal, and 1959 He and Joyce opened an office on Main St. across for the Ford dealership. Harvey sold cars and insurance day and night, while Joyce ran the office. He stopped selling Chevrolets in 1963 and went back to his first love, selling Fords.
In 1969 he became partner in the Ford Dealership and sold the insurance business to Lowell Owen. In 1978 he and two partners, W. B. Owen and Charles Harding, purchased the rest of stock in the dealership. Harvey became the dealer and president of the company and changed the name to Triangle Ford-Mercury. In 1984 the three opened Tri-County Ford- Mercury in Keysville, and Charles became the dealer. James Williams purchased Charles’ stock in Triangle Ford-Mercury and became a partner. Fire, caused by an electrical malfunction, destroyed the Triangle dealership the night of October 8, 1985. Six new cars in the showroom, many used cars, customer’s cars, Harvey’s 1958 Edsel Convertible and 1961 Lincoln were lost. Insurance covered everything except around $100,000 in antique parts not insured. Our dedicated employees and town’s people helped put the business back together. We bought the Chevrolet dealership lock-stock and barrel, including shop equipment, office equipment, and inventory, moved in and went to work. It would have taken six months if a new building had been built. Over the years, both dealerships became very successful. In 1991, Harvey and W. B. sold their stock in Tri-County Ford-Mercury to Charles Harding and in 1994 the three partners sold Triangle Ford-Mercury, and Harvey retired after over 41 years of selling cars. He was a hard worker, and highly respected businessman. After retirement he became lead volunteer for Centra Hospice for 17 ½ years in the Brookneal area, member of Brookneal Lions Club for over 45 years, and other local committees. He also served on the Board of Directors for American Sleep Apnea Association for several years.
Harvey loved his golf and his antique cars. He was a member of the Boonsboro and Hat Creek Golf Clubs, loved his golfing buddies, tournaments, and was a very good golfer. His love for antique cars started in 1968. For over 50 years, he and Joyce purchased and sold 96 antique and collectible vehicles in 13 states, Canada, and New Zealand. They were members of the AACA Auto Club, Edsel Owners Club for over 46 years, and Lynchburg AACA for over 45 years. He was president of the Virginia/Maryland Chapter of the Edsel Owners Club for over 10 years. Harvey and Joyce enjoyed the scenic travel to shows and national conventions throughout the U. S. and Canada yearly. He had friends in most states and several countries. In the earlier years he was an avid bowler and roller skater. He was loved by so many and will be missed by those who knew him.
A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 13, 2021 at Falling River Baptist Church by Pastor Brian Hart, and Dr. Lynn Marstin with interment to follow in the church cemetery.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
The family has requested that face coverings be worn, and social distancing be observed at the visitation and service.
Memorial contributions may be made to Falling River Baptist Church, 2874 Wickliffe Rd., Brookneal, VA 24528, the Brookneal Volunteer Fire Department, P. O. Box 590, Brookneal, VA, 24528 or your favorite charity.