No visitation planned
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th Street
Charles Robert Elgin, 89, died September 8, at Iowa Health Hospice Taylor House, surrounded by his family after a stroke. A public memorial celebration will be held at Blank Park Zoo on Saturday, September 18 at 1 pm.
Bob was born on May 21, 1921 and grew up in Centerville, Iowa. He served as a highly commended non-commissioned officer in the Army Air Force during World War II and after the war owned and operated the family clothing business in Chariton and worked in public relations.
In 1967, he became the director of the Des Moines Blank Park Zoo, where he worked until 1984. The work at the zoo, caring for animals was his great passion. While there, he pioneered numerous animal care techniques, including adaptation training, that are used at zoos across the country. He had a lifelong passion for writing and published two books about his years at the zoo. After retirement, he continued his work with animals as a master falconer and by raising German Shepherd dogs.
He was proceeded in death by his mother Ray Ursula BeauSeigneur, father John Robert Elgin and two brothers Jack and Richard and is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Jane, five children, Rob, Joel, Beckie, Michelle and Bruce as well as twelve grandchildren, Tim, Hannah, Maia, Megan, Dylan, Brenna, Keely, Kyra, Nicole, Caty, Fiona and Philip along with many nieces, nephews and caring friends.
He will be remembered for his lifelong love and dedication to animals.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Blank Park Zoo.