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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Jack E. Elness


Jack E. Elness was born on November 8, 1931, to the late Noel and Matilda (Neufeld) Elness in Windom, Minnesota. He attended public school, graduating from Windom High School with the class of 1950. After graduation, Jack enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

After four years in the service, Jack utilized his GI Bill to study photography at the New York Institute of Photography. He started his career as an assistant to fashion photographers Frank Scavullo  and Dick Richards. This took him all over the world shooting for Vogue, Seventeen, and other fashion publications. He opened his own photography studio in Manhattan in 1967 and had a big break in 1969 doing work for IBM Corporation. He went on to do advertising work for General Electric, Litton Industries, Kodak, John Hancock, United States Army, and many more. In 1992 he closed his studio and began shooting still life for Comstock as a freelance stock photographer. With this, his work appeared on the cover of National Geographic, Time, and the Wall Street Journal. He spent the rest of his career taking pictures wherever he went, including his hometown of Windom until his retirement in 1995.

Upon retiring, Jack moved back home to Windom, Minnesota.

On May 12, 2016, Jack was united in marriage to Diane Duerksen in Windom. After their marriage, Jack and Diane made their home in rural Windom. Recently, Jack’s health had been declining and he was placed in hospice care and passed away peacefully on March 9, 2024, at the age of 92 years.

Jack is survived by his wife, Diane Duerksen of Windom; stepson, Alex and Harsha Thom and their child, Bhoomi Thom all of Florida; dogs, Jingle and Larry, and other relatives and friends.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Noel and Matilda Elness-Peterson; stepfather, Hap Peterson; dogs, Smokey, Bozo, Spider, Twinkie, Ranger, Dasha, and Lilly.

Blessed be the memory of Jack E. Elness.

Arrangements are under the care of the LaCanne Family Celebration of Life Center in Windom. Condolences and memories of Jack may be sent online to www.lacannefuneralhome.com.


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