Ken Elliott Obituary - Cowsmo

Ken Elliott Obituary

Everyone here at Cowmospolitan extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ken.

Kenneth “Ken” Neal Elliott, a devoted husband, loving father, and respected figure in the dairy industry, passed away on Sunday, May 26, 2024, after a courageous battle with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was born on April 21, 1958, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, to Murray and Marion (Neal) Elliott. Ken peacefully departed this world at the age of 66 in Marshall, Wisconsin, leaving behind a legacy of hard work, dedication, and profound love for his family and his passion.

Ken’s early years were spent on his family’s Holstein farm in Ontario, Canada, where he cultivated a deep appreciation for agriculture. He pursued his education at Ridgetown College, Ontario, Canada, where he was a member of the winning collegiate dairy judging team. Following college, Ken worked for Allengrove Holstein in Ontario before relocating to California, where he worked for Marvin and Vivian Nunes of Ocean-View Holsteins. Vivian Nunes introduced Ken to Kathy Duarte at a Holstein event where their love grew from there.

Ken and Kathy were united in marriage on July 21, 1984, and together they became partners in Kathy’s family dairy, Duarte-Acres Holsteins, in Ceres, California. In 1995, they embarked on a new chapter, moving to Marshall, Wisconsin, to start their own farm, Partee Holstein & Jerseys. When Ken arrived in Wisconsin in the Spring of 1995, he was quickly greeted by Harry Weier who welcomed the Elliotts to Wisconsin and became a lifetime friend. Shortly after Ken settled into their new farm, he purchased three registered Jerseys which started their journey with Jersey cattle. That ignited a passion for exhibiting registered animals at local, state, and national shows, where they achieved remarkable success, boasting numerous class winners, champions, and All-Americans.

Ken’s contributions to the dairy industry extended beyond the show ring. He dedicated two decades of service as the Holstein superintendent at World Dairy Expo, demonstrating his unwavering commitment and love for the show. Ken’s tireless efforts were recognized when he was honored as a Friend of World Dairy Expo in 2021. Also in 2021, the Klussendorf Memorial Association awarded Ken with the 18th honorary Klussendorf Trophy.

Throughout his battle with ALS, Ken remained surrounded by the love and support of his family and friends. He is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy Elliott; his daughters, Amber Elliott (Owen Keller) and Laura (David) Tresslar; and his siblings, Ralph Elliott and Margaret Niesen. Ken was preceded in death by his father, Murray Elliott; his brother-in-law, Joe Niesen; and his father and mother-in-law, Joe and Mary Duarte.

In addition to his family, Ken leaves behind a multitude of friends and colleagues in the dairy industry who cherished his friendship and admired his dedication. The Elliott family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Maria Johnson of Marshall, Wisconsin, for her care and companionship during Ken’s final years, as well as to Dr. Fertikah of UW Health Neuromuscular Disorders Clinic and the ALS Association of Wisconsin for their unwavering support.

Ken’s legacy of passion for the dairy industry, dedication, distinguished mustache, and kindness will forever live on in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who had the honor of crossing paths with him.

A celebration of life will take place at a later time. In lieu of flowers, Ken’s family requests Memorial Donations to ALS Association of Wisconsin.

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