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Obit: Donald W. Elias, 74, of Slinger.


May 6, 2017 – Slinger, WI – Donald W. Elias, age 74 of Slinger, peacefully passed away on Friday, May 5, 2017.

Donald was born on September 25, 1942 to William and Theresa (nee Bohn) Elias in Milwaukee.  Graduated from Mesmer High School in 1962 and later married Renee (nee Cook) on December 19, 1970. Don and Renee worked many long hours renovating homes during the 70’s.

He retired at the age of 40 years and he and Renee then became foster parents and later completed the necessary requirements to adopt a special needs child, Tabitha, who became their daughter.


Don was the owner/operator of New City Homes & in 1990 opened Spring Valley Stables for riding lessons & boarding horses in Mequon. In December of 1999, Don and Renee opened Rides and Reins Therapeutic Riding Program in Slinger.  Don dedicated his life to helping special needs children and adults.  Their program was, and will continue to be, a testament to the positive results of horses helping with a variety of special needs to improve strength, balance, mobility and overall outlook on life.

Don is survived by his wife Renee, daughter Tabitha (Patrick) VanderWaal, grandchildren William Donald Elias Mitchell, Adrianna Payton and Layla Grace.  He is preceded in death by his parents.

A Memorial Service will be at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel of West Bend.  Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday, May 12 from 3:00 pm until time of service (6:00om). In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Rides and Reins Therapeutic Riding Center (4371 Arthur Rd., Slinger, WI 53086).


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