Dr. Elmer Richard Umbenhauer, 94, of Cape May Court House, NJ passed away after a brief illness on May 18 at Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape May Court House, listening to sounds of the ocean which he loved with his daughter and son-in-law by his side.He was born in Stony Creek Mills, Berks County, PA to the late Harry Umbenhauer and Mary Ockenlander Umbenhauer and was raised in Shillington, PA. A four-sport scholar-athlete, he graduated from Shillington High School in 1943. Nick-named the “Shillington Slugger” he was recruited by the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Athletics, but enlisted that year in the U.S. Army. During WWII, he served in the European Theater including the Battle of the Bulge with the 8th Armored Infantry Division. He participated in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. He served in the Honor Guard at the funeral of General George S. Patton in Luxembourg. In 2008, the French government bestowed upon him their highest military award, the Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor).At the conclusion of the war he enrolled at Albright College before attending and graduating from Temple University’s School of Dentistry in 1953. He established a successful dental practice in Birdsboro, PA where he lived from 1953 – 1969 and was one of the organizers of the Daniel Boone Colt Baseball League and Maple Springs Swim Club. He served as President of the Birdsboro Rotary Club and helped initiate the Rotary-sponsored Halloween Parade, an annual tradition that continue to this day. Dr. Umbenhauer sold his practice in 1966 upon starting a career with Merck Sharp & Dohme where he held various positions including Director of Medical Affairs being the first DDS to be employed by MS&D to lead clinical trials in medicine. He retired in 1988 but was retained as a consultant for a few years thereafter.He lived in Lansdale, PA from 1969 – 1994 before moving to Sea Isle City, NJ and ultimately Cape May Court House in 1998. He and his wife led educational beach walks in Sea Isle as a Beachcomber Guide and were Docents at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. In more recent years, he was a member and held the position of Secretary in the South Jersey Chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge giving many talks in schools, civic groups, and other venues. He spoke at the dedication of the Battle of the Bulge monument at Cape May County’s Veteran’s Cemetery reading “Freedom Isn’t Free”. A video interview with Elmer was recorded by the Veterans History Project and is maintained in The Library of Congress. In August of 2018, Elmer traveled to New Orleans and visited The National WWII Museum where he was treated like a celebrity.He enjoyed supporting the various activities of his children and grandchildren over the years. His many interests included boating, golfing, tennis, biking, playing the Kazoo and following Philadelphia sports, especially the Phillies. He was an avid walker and loved walking with his beloved Grand dog Joey.He is survived by two sons; Richard A. (Elizabeth) of Vista, CA, Todd H. of Souderton, PA, his daughter Lisa Jane (Steven) Novsak of Cape May Court House, and four grandchildren, Sarah (Michael) Scorzetti and Seth Umbenhauer of Souderton, Lauren Novsak of Baltimore, MD and Maribeth Novsak of Cape May Court House, and his one-year old great-grandson David Michael Scorzetti. He had one niece, the late Patricia (Emmett) Venette of Milford, DE, and two nephews, Jay Umbenhauer of Leesport, PA and Dave (Marilyn) Ney of Harrisburg, PA, and great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, June Marie (Hertzog) Umbenhauer, two brothers, Harry (KIA in WWII) and Albert, and a sister, Myrtle (Umbenhauer) Ney.Plans for a Memorial Service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to The WWII National Museum 945 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130 or a charity of your choice.www.radzieta.com
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