The Times 

Forrest Ellsworth Conover

November 15, 1927 – April 22, 2023


November 15, 1927 – April 22, 2023

Lifetime farmer, rancher, and everybody's favorite cowboy, Ellsworth (LZ) Conover, passed on April 22, 2023. It is fitting for the outdoorsman and steward of the fields and mountains to have passed on a spring morning when the crew was branding calves. LZ was 95 years old.

LZ was born and raised in Waitsburg. He attended Waitsburg High School and graduated with the class of '45. He attended one semester at WSU until he was needed to help on the farm. He worked alongside his dad and was part of the generation that transitioned from horse-drawn farm equipment to the modern equipment we know today. For the next 75 years, LZ was an integral and innovative part of farming and ranching. As a rancher, LZ was known to raise and produce championship calves. He was proud of his "homegrown" steers that grew up in the mountains yet stood at the front of the line at many shows.

LZ loved "his" Jasper Mountain. At the cabin, he befriended hunters and neighbors with his ability to tell a good story with, his characteristic sense of humor, and his quiet one-line zingers. His words were golden, and his humble ways collected lifelong friends from young to old.

LZ treasured his family and friends. Married in 1948 to his cute little Dayton brunette Sherrill Morris, together they raised a family and committed to the local area. They were Cattleman of the Year in 1963 and honored as Pioneers of the Year in 2009.

LZ is survived by his son, Larry Conover of Waitsburg; daughters, Debbie Hunter (David) from Federal Way and Terri Stroud (David) of Ellensburg; six grandchildren, Sandra Farley (Randy), Diane Harris (Joe), Jane Waldher (Bob), Luke Stroud (Dave), Logan Stroud (Carrie), and Garrett Stroud (Haily); great-grandchildren. Jared, Drew, and Amy Farley; Lily, Grant, and Luke Waldher; Finn, Sam, and Emmett Stroud. LZ was preceded in death by his wife, Sherrill; sister, Maxine Mercer; parents, Forrest and Carrie Conover; daughter-in-law, Pam Conover.

A Graveside service will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023, at 1:30 pm, at the Waitsburg Cemetery, and a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 3:00 pm, on his beloved Jasper Mountain.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Waitsburg Livestock Show or a local charity of your choice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 West Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362. In addition, friends and family are invited to sign the online guestbook at

Special thanks to Dr. Quackenbush, Dr. Vawter, and their special nurses who cared for him. His home caregivers, whom he loved: (Kathy, Leana, Matty, Ronda, Irma, and Sandra), gave him the best care through the last years of his life-and a special shout out to Tom Tom, who was the purrfect companion.


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