Elmer Fleer

When it comes to participation in the annual Franklin County Silver Games, Elmer Fleer has been a mainstay.

Fleer, a Washington native, has competed in the Silver Games since 1992.

What does he have to show for it? How about a collection of 36 medals.

These days, Fleer mostly sticks to shuffleboard, washers and miniature golf.

During the 2012 Silver Games, he won three gold medals, two in shuffleboard and one in miniature golf. He also took home a silver in shuffleboard.

“I really enjoy it. I’ve missed just one year since 1992,” Fleer said. “It’s more than just winning medals. It’s a great way to meet a lot of different people. We have people competing not just from Franklin County and throughout Missouri, but this year, we had people from Kansas and Florida.”

Over the years, Fleer has competed in almost too many events to count.

The ones he remembered off the top of his head, in addition to shuffleboard, mini golf and washers, were basketball shoot, football throw, dominoes, plug casting and even nail pounding.

He also has competed in golf at various courses throughout the area.

“Once I quit competing in golf, I got into mini golf,” Fleer said. “Shuffleboard is one of my favorites. I’ve also gotten some of the other guys I play golf with into shuffleboard.”

Elmer and his wife, Eleanor, have been married for 61 years. Eleanor also has competed in the Silver Games in the past, but no longer does.

Elmer and Eleanor, who have lived together in Washington since 1952, have two sons, Dave and Daryl, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

For 37 years, Elmer Fleer worked at Kroger. He was a manager for stores in Washington, Union and Sullivan, retiring from the Washington location in 1987.

Fleer still finds plenty to do during his retirement days, when he’s not training for the Silver Games. 

“We do a lot of traveling. Even before I retired, we traveled a lot,” Fleer said. “For 12 years, we took our motor home and lived in Florida for a few months out of the year. We quit doing that two or three years ago. We’re in Washington fulltime now. We even drove the motor home to Alaska one time.”

Fleer still plays golf, just not in the Silver Games. He usually plays once a week with a group of friends at one of the courses in Warrenton or in St. Clair. He also enjoys crappie and bass fishing.

At 82 years of age, Fleer doesn’t plan on retiring from the Silver Games anytime soon.

“I’ll go for as long as I can,” he said.