On May 12th, 2021 Ellen Hornor Shepherd McKee passed away peacefully with her husband, her youngest son and her close family friend by her side.
Ellen was born in Annapolis, Maryland on April 19, 1930 to Isaac (Ike) Shepherd and Ellen Davidson Shepherd. She spent the first part of her life on the family farm in Harwood where she discovered her passion for horses, a passion that later in life would materialize into a very successful business.
Ellen spent twenty two years in Denmark married to Ole Holm with whom she had three children- Ellen (Dete), Chris and George. She became highly respected for her knowledge of horses, their behavior and their breeding pedigrees.
In 1975 Ellen returned to Harwood where she would meet William (Bill) McKee. Together they took her passion for horses to the next level. They turned the farm into a premier horse breeding operation that included teaching riding, breeding European warmbloods and running a CEM quarantine facility for horses entering the United States. They opened their home to many young European girls who wanted to expand their horse knowledge, many of whom have become expert equestrians and successful veterinarians. Bill and Ellen became an inseparable pair, they married in 1986.
Bill and Ellen moved to Wyoming in 1998. They hosted numerous hiking and horse packing trips for friends and family and welcomed all to their rustic cabin in Bondurant, where stories, wonderful meals and laughter were plentiful.
Ellen had many notable achievements throughout her life not the least of which is the impact she made on those who where lucky enough to know her, to whom she was a good and loyal wife, mother, friend, mentor and inspiration. Ellen was a gifted story-teller, an excellent cook, an accomplished horsewoman, and dog lover. She had a marvelous sense of humor, a genuine interest in the people and world around her, and a talent for gathering friends wherever she went. She savored every aspect of her life to the fullest. The simple pleasures in life brought great joy to Ellen. She had an uncanny ability to find happiness in all of her activities. Her cheerful enthusiasm was contagious to everyone she met. Ellen’s 91 years were filled with friendships she forged with people from all over the world.
Ellen is preceded in death by her brother George, her sister Meta, her nephew Carter and her granddaughter Trine. She is survived by her loving husband William McKee, her children Ellen Sjoholm (living in Sweden), Chris (living in Denmark), George Holm and his wife Nina (living on the family farm in Harwood, Maryland), three grandchildren: Julie Christiansen, Sandy Christiansen and Casper Holm, her niece Kate Chaney (living in Florida) and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial service details and location will be shared at a later date.