Ken and Jean Pletcher
Their Gift: Cash
“The people who came before us left us much. Now, what is our obligation to our children and grandchildren?”
Retired businessman Ken Pletcher’s philosophy is to leave the world a better place by giving back to the community where he and his family became successful.
Raised on a farm in Elkhart County, Ken joined a 4-H club while in high school. After military service with the army during the Korean War, he spent the majority of his business career at NIBCO as vice-president of administration and of manufacturing.
Ken’s interest in 4-H has continued throughout his life. From 1987-1995, he served as Elkhart Chamber of Commerce’s representative on the Elkhart County Fair board and, in ’94, as board president. He became the first director of the Elkhart County Fair Foundation, a component fund of ECCF. Establishing that fund, thus growing an endowment for our county’s 4-H Fair, has been significant in the success of the Fair, the largest county fair in Indiana and among the largest in the country.
As a member of both the fair board and the county extension board, in 2001 Ken acted as agent to secure funds to build the new half million-dollar county extension office on the fairgrounds after it outgrew its former building.
Currently, he and wife Jean have grandchildren involved in the 4-H Dog Club, continuing the Pletcher legacy of interest in 4-H.
The ECCF considers Ken a sincere role model in giving back, while Ken views ECCF as a well-respected and sound steward of its donors’ funds, carrying out their wishes in life and after their death. As Ken says, “The people who came before us left us much. Now, what is our obligation to our children and grandchildren?”