Donald W. Elias, 74
Sept. 25, 1942
May 5, 2017

Donald W. Elias, 74Donald W. Elias, 74, of Slinger, peacefully passed away Friday, May 5, 2017.

Donald was born Sept. 25, 1942, to William and Theresa (nee Bohn) Elias in Milwaukee. He graduated from Messmer High School in 1962 and later married Renee (nee Cook) on Dec. 19, 1970. Don and Renee worked many long hours renovating homes during the 70s. He retired at the age of 40 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 and boarding horses in Mequon. In December 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; and 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 p.m. Friday, May 12, at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel of West Bend. Visitation will be at the funeral home Friday from 3 p.m. until time of service (6 p.m.). In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Rides and Reins Therapeutic Riding Center (4371 Arthur Road, Slinger, WI 53086).

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family: 262-338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.