MALTA – Kenneth Uphoff Stoddard, 93, of Malta, Illinois, died Sunday, June 29, 2014, at Kishwaukee Hospital, DeKalb.|
Born Oct. 21, 1920, in Rising City, Nebraska, the son of Ira Merle and Annie (Uphoff) Stoddard, Ken married Dorothy W. Willrett on Sept. 6, 1950, at Malta Methodist Church in Malta. After marriage he transferred his membership from Surprise Methodist Church where he was confirmed, to Malta Methodist Church.
Because of crop failures due to the drought conditions in Nebraska, Ken and his brother, Ivan, came to Illinois looking for work in 1939. In 1942, Ken and Ivan began farming in partnership on the Abbott Farm. They began with very little equipment and a strong will to make it work. With the help from several farmers and neighbors they were able to get started. After Ken and Dorothy married, they rented and farmed 160 acres in Milan Township. There they fed cattle, hogs and chickens, while continuing in partnership with his brother.
Their three children were born while they lived in Milan. In 1958, they moved to Malta where they continued farming and feeding cattle.
Ken was a member of DeKalb County Farm Bureau, DeKalb County Cattlemen, Hog Producers, Corn and Soybean Growers, Vegetable Growers, (Ken grew sweet corn, peas and lima beans for Del Monte for 60 years) and served on the A.S.C.S. Board. He served more than 50 years on the Malta-Milan Drainage District. He was a trustee at the church, and did the major snow removal at the church and parsonage for more than 50 years.
In 2009 he received the runner-up award as "Outstanding Older Worker" in the State of Illinois. Ken drove tractors for hayrides for school parties a number of years. He served on the Malta High School Board, and served as president of the Board. He served as a Malta Volunteer Fireman for 18 years, and was a charter member of the Malta Lions Club, where he served on many committees and projects.
In October of 2011 at the age of 90, as he finished combining corn, he got out of the combine, declared that he was retiring from farming and made arrangements to cash-rent the farm. After retiring he enjoyed gardening, mowing the farmstead, reading, watching TV and of course, he continued to go to breakfast at five most every morning to visit with other local farmers until the last few months.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy; son, James (Marcia) Stoddard of Sycamore; daughter, Nancy (Tom) Plote of Malta; seven grandchildren, Bradley (Holly) Stoddard, Steven Stoddard, Michelle (Cory) Crowley, Micah Stoddard, Clinton Stoddard, Matthew Plote and Jennifer Plote; brother, Merle (Mary) Stoddard of Florida; sister-in-law, Marcia Stoddard; great-grandchildren, Lindsey, Owen and Arden; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his son, David Lee; a grandson, Nathan Wayne; sisters, Nadine, Mae (Louis) Davidson, Gladys (Edward) Arenkill and Mary Ann (Orval) Smith; brothers, Ivan (Maxine), Fred (Pauline and Irene), Harold and Donald; and his parents.
The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 3, at Malta United Methodist Church, Malta, with the Rev. Dr. Noah R. Panlilio officiating. Burial will follow at Malta Cemetery, Malta. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at Anderson Funeral Home, DeKalb.
Memorials can be made to the Kenneth Stoddard Memorial Fund, sent in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb, IL 60115.
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com or call 815-756-1022.
Published in Daily Chronicle on July 1, 2014