MILTON-FREEWATER - Michael Elkington, 58, of Milton-Freewater died Tuesday, June 2, 2009, at his home surrounded by his family. A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 5 at the First Christian Church in Milton-Freewater. Boots and cowboy hats are encouraged.
Mr. Elkington was born April 23, 1951, in Walla Walla to Earl and Barbara (McCune) Elkington. When he was in the eighth grade the family moved to Ellensburg, Wash., where he graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1969. In high school he excelled in athletics and was an avid member of the Ellensburg FFA. He graduated from Yakima Valley Community College in 1971. In 1972 he married Lorri Buroker, and they made their home in the Milton-Freewater area. They moved back to Ellensburg after the birth of their daughter in 1977, then returned to Milton-Freewater after the birth of their son in 1980.
He worked for many years as a manager for Wilbur-Ellis, and then as a pea field man for Smith's Frozen Foods. However, his true calling was that of a rancher and cattleman on the Dry Creek Cattle Ranch. In 1978 he and his father were awarded Kittitas County Cattlemen of the Year award. He was an excellent cattle judge, and also won the prestigious Pacific International Livestock Judging contest.
Mr. Elkington is survived by his wife, Lorri Elkington of Milton-Freewater; parents Barbara and Earl Elkington of Milton-Freewater; daughter Jennifer Elkington of Walla Walla; son Seth Elkington of Stayton; sister Sandy Sundquist of Kelso, Wash.; and one niece.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Milton-Freewater Junior Show or the Mac-Hi FFA in care of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.