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Western fiction writers have one less veteran

As I've noted before, we can't honor them all individually, so we honor the ones that catch our eye or have a connection, however tenuous, to the Castle.  And readers who let us know that someone important to them has passed is a connection rather more substantial than tenous.

Meet Elmer Kelton, who helped conquer the Nazis, and was himself conquered by an Austrian.
SAN ANGELO — Elmer Stephen Kelton, 83, died Saturday. He was born April 29, 1926, at Horse Camp in Andrews County to Mr. and Mrs. R.W. “Buck” Kelton, and grew up on the McElroy Ranch in Upton and Crane counties. He completed his education at the University of Texas after serving in Europe during World War II.

Kelton married Anna Lipp of Ebensee, Austria in 1947 and began a career in agriculture journalism at the San Angelo Standard-Times in 1949. He became editor of the Sheep & Goat Raiser magazine in 1963 and associate editor of Livestock Weekly in 1968, retiring in 1990. Kelton maintained a parallel career as a freelance writer, beginning with short stories in the post-war pulp magazine trade, progressing to novels, non-fiction books and countless magazine articles. In all, he wrote more than 40 books, including “The Time it Never Rained,” “The Wolf and the Buffalo,” “The Day the Cowboys Quit,” and “The Good Old Boys,” which became a Turner Network movie directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. Kelton was named the number-one Western writer of all time by the Western Writers of America. The WWA voted him seven Spur awards for best Western novel of the year and the career Saddleman Award, and he received four Western Heritage Wrangler awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

After the bugler wets his lips from his last call...  Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance for a second time: In Memoriam of Elmer Kelton, writer, husband, father, friend, and someone who, when he was needed, he was there.