Friday, December 01, 2023


The Illinois/Wisconsin District is remembering with gratitude the life of Ken Holderread, 85, who served as district executive minister here in the 1990’s. Ken passed away Nov. 28 at The Cedars retirement community in McPherson, Kan., where he and his wife, Elsie, lived in recent years.

Ken earlier served as a pastor and then with the Church of the Brethren General Board from 1984 to 1990, working first in Sudan and then in Elgin as the church's representative for Africa and the Middle East. He continued to be based in Elgin while serving as district executive until retiring in March 1999. He and Elsie, who served as human resources manager for the General Board, were members at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren during their time in the district.

Ken and Elsie later served as co-district executive ministers for Western Plains District, and they have served the church in a variety of other ways over the years—including work with McPherson College's popular Ventures in Christian Discipleship program and an active role at McPherson Church of the Brethren. Ken also served as a spiritual director. Earlier this year, he celebrated 55 years as an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren.

In a 2020 Anabaptist Disabilities Network article, Ken shared some of the health issues he had dealt with over the years and various current ones before concluding, "These issues greatly influence how I live. However, they do not prevent me from saying and believing that 'life is good!'"

At this time, service details are not yet available. That information and a full obituary will be posted at Our prayers are with his family and friends in this time of loss.

Joan Pelletier, 90, a former long-time employee of the Church of the Brethren General Board, passed away on Nov. 24 in Elgin. Born in Peoria, Joan and her late husband, Orv, moved to Elgin in 1957.

Joan began as a secretary in the former Parish Ministries Commission in April 1984. In April 1987 she accepted the position of administrative assistant in Parish Ministries. In July 1997 she became secretary for the former Congregational Life Ministries, a position she held until her retirement in May 2003.

A Celebration of Life service was held on Dec. 2 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Elgin. A full obituary is available at