Nathan Bryan Elliott was born to Bill and Kay Elliott on January 4, 1975 in Topeka, Kansas. He was a single child for only a short time before his sisters Valery and Libby joined the Elliott family. Nate’s youth was spent in Hill City, Kansas. He graduated from Hill City High School in 1993, attended the United States Air Force Academy, was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, graduated from Duke University and then from Harvard Law School. Nate struggled with addiction and mental health issues most of his adult life before passing away on June 3, 2018 at 43 years of age. He dearly loved his family, his friend Marlana and her daughter Elizabeth, his bonus family Bill and RubyJane Davis, and his dog Oren.
Nate struggled immensely to fit into a society that was not built, and even hesitates, to embrace those whose illnesses cannot be easily understood or cured…illnesses often veiled in shame and secrecy. But regardless of what was going on in his own life, Nate’s heart was forever full of understanding, compassion and love for others. He was deeply passionate about helping the homeless population, those suffering from mental illness, and those immersed in addiction and recovery. The downtrodden and “least of these” were never unnoticed when Nate was present.
Despite the way his own life journey ended, Nate’s message to others would be that hope truly is eternal for all. His family’s message is that everyone bears responsibility for helping those in need…even when we cannot grasp the depths of or reasons for their plight. Our duty is not to understand; our duty is to care and reach out. Those who are struggling, please hear this: You are not alone. You are loved and you are worthy.
Nate was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Dale and Betty Elliott, his maternal grandfather Junior Shields and his nephew Andrew Bryan Rule. Nate leaves behind his parents Bill and Kay Elliott of Norton, Kansas and Woodland Park, Colorado; his grandmother Nelda Shields of Hill City; his sister Valery Rule (husband Jason) and their children Elliott, Payton, Lauren and Lakin of Nixa, Missouri; his sister Libby Nickelson (fiance Ryan Stover) and their children Corgan, Caine and Cope Nickelson and Josie and Colton Stover of Norton, Kansas; Marlana Radke and her daughter Elizabeth of Hays, Kansas; his trusted friend and mentor Bill Davis (wife RubyJane) of Hays, Kansas; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins including his Aunt Carm of Hill City, Kansas, who he was particularly close to; and his ever faithful, loyal and vigilant sidekick (and best friend) Oren.
Nate’s struggles in this temporal life are over; he’s home with his Heavenly Father, fully healed and finally at peace. He will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him, and his memory will live on forever with those he considered family.
Nate never wanted a traditional funeral. However, the family recognizes some people need that closure. If you knew Nate personally and feel called to attend, there will be an informal gathering at Stinemetz Funeral Home in Hill City, Kansas, on June 21, 2018, at 4 p.m. Please come as you are. Graveside services will immediately follow. Memorials can be made to Turning Point Professional Counseling Services, 2501 E. 13th St., Bldg 3, Hays, KS 67601.