Date of Birth
Date of Death
Kenneth E. Ken Nelson, age 63, of Maple Park, passed away, Tuesday, February 17, 2015, at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, IL. He was born April 15, 1951 in Aurora, IL, the son of Eric G. and Marion E. (Gehrke) Nelson.Ken grew up on the family dairy farm in Maple Park where the work began at sunrise and didn’t stop until after dark. In between he attended local schools, graduating from Kaneland High School with the class of 1969. His years there were filled with memories of cross country, 4-H and F.F.A. Ken’s father passed away just before graduation, so with a heavy heart Ken returned to the farm of his youth, taking on the responsibilities of his father. Later he bought his own farm on Keslinger Rd. and continued to work for a time before leaving his lands, eventually finding a home for the next 20 years and more with the City of Geneva. He retired in December of 2013. The winds of fate brought Ken and Betty Burton together. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Dan in 1978 and Kathy in 1981. Their paths differed as the years passed and eventually they went their separate ways. But Ken was lucky in love and found the woman of his dreams in Julie Wisdom. Their two hearts became one when they were united in marriage in 2004. They began their new life together on the farm in Maple Park and spent the next ten years making happy memories before Julie’s declining health brought her into the arms of her Savior in September of 2014. Ken was a member of Grace Lutheran Church for many years. Ken\\\’s life was lived outside, from the farm lands of his youth, to side jobs mowing for friends and neighbors alongside his nephew Eric, to the streets of Geneva, Ken was happiest when outdoors. His passion for farming and all things International ran deep and it was that love and respect for the land that he passed down to his children. Ken had a special place in his heart for all of God’s creatures, both big and small, from cows to kittens and everything in between. Each had at least one name and sometimes two throughout their lifetimes, which only seemed fair since he also shared more than one. Kenneth may have been the name his parents gave him at birth, but Clowny was one that he earned, bestowed upon him by family and friends alike. It was in their presence that he felt most at home and the place where the many golden memories were made and later reminisced, like the summers playing Rubberball with the Ruh kids in backyards and between houses. The rules were much like baseball, the only exception being that if you hit a house with the ball you were out (and God help you if you hit a window!) And later, the dozens of auctions and farm sales he frequented looking for just the right "treasure" he absolutely couldn’t live without. Ken was a man who lived fully, loved deeply and laughed often. He will be truly missed. He is survived by two children: Dan (Trina) Nelson and Kathy (Ryan) Gibbs;Five grandchildren:Katlyn Nelson, Alyssa Nelson, Tyler Crowell, Trinity Howard and Andrew Gibbs;One great-grandson, Kyran Smith;Two siblings: Marge (Durwin) Sanders and David (Peggy) Nelson;Many nieces and nephews, especially Eric and Becky Nelson, and a countryside of friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Eric and Marion Nelson and his wife Julie Nelson.Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m., Sunday, February 22, 2015, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. A funeral service to celebrate his life will be Monday, February 23, at 10:30 a.m., with a visitation from 9:30-10:15 a.m., at Grace Lutheran Church, 5N600 Hansen Rd., Lily Lake, IL. Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn, IL. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Ken’s name. Checks may be made to the Kenneth Nelson Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also forwarded to the same address or on www.conleycare.com.