A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Pharr, located at 400 W. Ridge Rd.
Born Sept. 19, 1930 in Crenshaw, Miss., Elmer was the youngest of the five children of Arthur and Lona May Worley. He honorably served in the U.S. Army in Korea and, upon his return to the United States, hitchhiked to Paducah to begin working on the river.
After a successful career with Hougland Barge Lines, where he advanced from cabin boy to towboat captain, he was hired by Exxon Shipping and rapidly progressed from captain to port captain in Baton Rouge, La. As port captain, he was in charge of the day-to-day operations of a fleet of 19 towboats, over 90 barges and more than 200 inland waterways personnel.
Elmer retired from Exxon Shipping in 1992. Described by his predecessor as one of the most respected rivermen of his day, he was instrumental in the creation of several river committees, policies and procedures, which are still in operation today.
Elmer’s love of people, his generosity, his wit and his story-telling abilities were admired and enjoyed by his family, colleagues and friends. He will forever be remembered as a loving husband and father, a dedicated worker and a loyal friend.
Left to cherish his memory are his son, E. Wayne Worley; two stepsons, Stephen Ray and Michael Ray Tinsley; his wife of four years, Diane Worley, and her children, Trey and Curtis Martin and Susan and Clay Collins; two granddaughters; five great-grandchildren; and one sister-in-law, Margie Lange of Metropolis.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Gertie Lee Worley.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.