Lewis Henry Topliff (aged 91 years, 9 months, and 1 day) went to be with the Lord on November 03, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on February 03, 1926, to Henry Newton Topliff and Leona Agnes Birdsell Topliff in Jewell County, Kansas.
He was the owner of La-Top/Topmark dairy in Kansas and manager of Adams Acres Dairy in Oklahoma, Sky Go Dairy in Missouri, Price Black Dairy in New Mexico, and most recently the Dairy Department of New Mexico State University. He was a Life Member of the Holstein Association USA.
He was active in 4-H all his life and received the Danforth college scholarship and won the Moses Trophy which is the highest national award that 4-H presents for leadership achievement to one man and one woman each year.
He served as President of the New Mexico Holstein Association for many years. In 1971, he was appointed inspector for export qualifications of all Holstein cattle going to Mexico and South America. His appointment was announced by Maurice E. Mix, director of classification services for the Holstein Friesian Association of Brattleboro, Vt.
In 2011, New Mexico State University created the endowed Topliff Dairy Chair. Lowell Catlett, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, presented the honor. "Lewis was always 'Mr. Dairy,'" Catlett said. "He has had a role helping the College of ACES in many, many ways." Topliff served as the dairy general manager with the university for 26 years, establishing the dairy as a focal point for the agriculture industry.
Lewis enjoyed camping and fishing and was an accomplished woodworker. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was predeceased by his parents; sister Donna Clark and her husband Ray Clark of Kansas; brother-in-law Emory Hobleman of Nebraska; and daughter, Rachel Alberson, R.N., M.S.N., of Albuquerque.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Minnie Alice Welch Topliff of Las Cruces, his son Mike Topliff, Ph.D. (Cyndy) of Las Cruces, son Pat Topliff (Barb) of Phoenix, daughter Berna Woods (Don) of Albuquerque, daughter Connie Topliff, M.D. of Tucson, son Marty Alberson (Janet) of Montana, son Dean Alberson, Ph.D. (Mary) of Texas, and son Dennis Alberson (Cathey) of Las Cruces. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 25, at 1:30 at the Farm & Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, N.M. 88011. His ashes will be interred in Kansas in April.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Rocksprings 4-H Center, 1168 K-157 Highway, Junction City, Kansas, 664411.