Eli B. Votaw Jr., 94, or Wellfleet, Nebraska

Eli B. Votaw, Jr (Buss) age 94 years of Wellfleet, Nebraska died on October 30, 2012 at Lincoln.

He was born on October 13, 1918 at the ranch his father had homesteaded in 1884. He was the eighth child born to Eli B. Votaw and Clara Grace Swink Votaw of rural Wellfleet, Nebraska.

In 1937, The Angus Journal had an article about an eighteen year old Nebraska boy that had traveled to Iowa and purchased "the very best heifer of the auction". This was the beginning of Eli building his nationally recognized registered Angus herd.

Eli was enlisted during WWII in the Horse Cavalry at Ft. Riley, Kansas. Eli was later transferred to 7th Corp Headquarters in Omaha, where he was a Master Sergeant in the Military Police. Following his honorable discharge in 1943, Eli purchased his first piece of ground. On April 10th, 1950 he married Bette Marie Petersen of North Platte, NE. Together they diligently worked to build the historic E Bar V Angus Ranch.

In 1975, Eli was elected to the American Angus Board of Directors. While serving his two terms on the Board, he was instrumental in establishing the internationally recognized Certified Angus Beef Program. For 30 years, E Bar V participated in a work study program with the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis. Eli was very influential in many young men and women's personal lives and agriculture careers.

In addition to his ranch work, he served on the Community Center School Board, and for more than 20 years Eli served on the advisory Board of the University Of Nebraska School Of Technical Agricultural. In 1992, he was honored as the Lincoln County Feeder Rancher of the year. He was a 60 year member of the Nebraska Cattlemen Association serving on various committees. He was also a long time member of the National Cattlemen Association. Eli helped organize the Southwest Nebraska Angus Association and served as Secretary – Treasurer for several years. He was also a life time member of the American Angus Association and the Nebraska Angus Association. Eli served as a Delegate to the Annual meeting of the American Angus Association National conference for decades. Eli was a member of the American Legion Post # 163, First Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Platte, NE and the Elks Lodge.

Two cherished accomplishments were bestowed upon Eli, and his wife Bette in recognition of their contributions to the improvement and advancement of Angus in the United States. They were inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation in 1999, by the American Angus Association and in 2006, the Nebraska Angus Association presented them with the Nebraska Pioneer Producer Award.

A true cowboy, he loved to ride horses through the canyons with his family. Eli lived his life as a passionate supporter of the ranching and Angus beef industry. As an avid story teller, Eli's memories will be continued on for many generations to come.

One of Eli's favorite sayings was "the only thing you can leave behind is a good family". Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 62 years, Bette of Clark Jeary Retirement Community in Lincoln, two daughters, Kathy Marie (Louis) Dubs of Billings, MT, and Kerri Ann (Steven) Kliewer of Henderson. Grandchildren: Merici Vinton (Dominic Campbell) of London, England, Katrina (Adam) Petersen of Cheyenne, WY, Allison Dubs of Lincoln, Chase Eli Kliewer of Omaha, Garrett Kliewer of Lincoln, and Mariah Kliewer of New York City, brother Bill Votaw of North Platte and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death was his beloved daughter Christine Sue Votaw Vinton, son-in-law Patrick Donald Vinton, his parents, and siblings: Lillie Mae Votaw Shanafelt, Ella Votaw, Janet Votaw Zezula, John Robert Votaw, Abner E Votaw, Amy Grace Votaw and Delmar William Votaw.

Services will be held Thursday, December 27 at 10:30 at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte. Burial will be following at Fort McPherson Cemetery, Maxwell, NE. Pastor Frank Fitch officiating. In lieu of flowers, Memorials to American Angus Foundation, 3201 Fredrick Ave. Saint Joseph, MO, 64506.

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