Obituary— John D. Elder

Obituary— John D. Elder

John Darel Elder, a gentle loving kind man with a servant’s heart was called from his earthly Ranch to his Heavenly Ranch on December 12, 2020 with his beloved family by his side. John was a lifelong resident of Culberson County.

John was born on September 26, 1966 in Van Horn, Texas, and was a lifelong resident. He grew up on the family ranch where he was riding horseback with his mother or grandfather by the age of 4 and John was sitting tall in the saddle upon his own horse with no assistance from anyone. Thus, he would help round up cattle and do whatever was required by horseback.

A Celebration of Life for John will be held on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Van Horn.

John graduated from Van Horn High School in 1985 and was the Valedictorian of his class. John attended Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where he studied Criminal Justice and received a Bachelor of Arts in Government in 1991, also studying Supporting Concentration in Sociology and Psychology. John attended Texas Tech University School of Law and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in November of 1994.

John opened his law practice, John D. Elder Attorney at Law and Counselor, from May of 1995 until January of 2012. John represented so many people from all over West Texas and in his hometown. He had such a giving heart and was oh so patient with all his clients. John would go above and beyond to help them all much more than what any attorney might do for their clients.

When John opened his law practice in 1995, he also leased his own ranch. During the day he would be assisting his clients in legal matters and in the evenings and on the weekends, he would be found sitting atop his horse tending to all aspects of running a ranch.

John was blessed in 2002 when he finally fell in love with his soulmate and best friend Beth Gary. Being a fantastic dancer, John loved to dance as well as line dance to country music. They would spend time together at the ranch as well as enjoying each other’s company while shooting, reading, riding horses, and snow skiing.

John had a passion for cooking, in which he would cook all the meals, and no one ever left his home with an empty stomach. John was a wonderful role model and loved giving fatherly advice to Beth’s two sons.

Baby, John’s beloved dog and constant companion was always by his side. Baby went everywhere possible with John. While at the ranch, Baby would aide John in whatever tasks were needed. Baby would run miles to John’s truck and help round up cattle. At the end of the day, when John would go home, Baby would stay right beside John’s chair. Baby was truly a man’s best friend.

John was preceded in death by his father Gary Elder, grandparents John and Peggy Harper and Cliff and Bernice Elder.

Those left to cherish and honor the memory of John is his loving wife, best friend, and soulmate Beth Gary, his mother Sally Elder, his brothers Carl Elder and wife Nicole and Clint Elder, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, niece, many beloved friends and Baby, his faithful companion, sidekick and fur baby.

Services are entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home in Van Horn, Texas.

Online condolences may be left at:


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