Jerry SKOCDOPOLE

SKOCDOPOLE, Jerry

June 13, 1947 – May 30, 2010

Jerry was born in Stettler Alberta July 13, 1947 and raised on the original Skocdopole homestead south of Botha. He went to school at Botha and Senior High in Stettler. Jerry and his brother, Jim had a little custom haying business going even before either one of them had completed high school. Jerry worked up north on the oil rigs for two winters in 1966 and 1967. He also worked the summer of 1967 as a Derrick man around the Stettler-Big Valley area, in fact he helped drill a well right here on the ranch. In 1969 Jerry along with his dad “Shorty”, and brothers Jim and Jack bought the Charles Usher ranch at Big Valley, and formed the company officially called Skocdopole Ranches Ltd. Jerry was the “lucky” one that got to move to the ranch February 14, 1969. Younger brother Don eventually became part of the company too. On August 1, 1969 he married his teenage sweetheart, Elaine Pratt from Stettler. Living on the ranch was very hard work for the first few years as the three brothers and their Dad proceeded to build up the ranch to be “Skocdopole Ready”. Jack spent a lot of time living on the ranch and lived with Jerry and Elaine off and on over long periods for the next 10 years before making it his permanent residence. Jim, Shorty and Don also spent many days at a time working along with Jerry and Jack. Miles and miles of straight tight fence with gates that were next to impossible to open were built, tons and tons of rock was picked to make the ranch their pride and joy. They all had a picture in their mind of how they wanted the ranch to look and work. In the meantime Elaine and Jerry’s first son, Wayne was born on Aug 10, 1971 (right in the middle of haying season). That was a proud moment in the Skocdopole and Pratt families as Wayne was the first grandchild. 22 months later another son, Dale was born on June 12, 1973 (branding time). The Skocdopole men didn’t ever take much time off but when hunting season rolled around it was a different story those first few years, as they loved to hunt and have all their friends come out to hunt too. Needless to say many laughs as the hunting stories were all retold in Elaine and Jerry’s kitchen while Elaine whipped up a meal for them. In 1983 Jerry joined the Ewing Lake Roping Club and learned how to Team Rope, this was a real time of enjoyment as Jerry learned to “play” along with several other neighbourhood ranchers that all learned how to rope under the tutelage of Kent and Brian Butterfield. Jerry was quite successful with his team roping over the years and won many saddles and buckles over the next 25 years. He became an assistant 4H leader when his “boys” joined the Big Valley 4H Beef Club. He loved to curl as a teenager and went to Provincials once. He joined the curling club in Big Valley for a few years too until Team Roping and High School Rodeo took over our lives for several years as the boys were growing up. He very successfully hosted the Alberta High School Rodeo Finals for three years in Stettler, proud as punch that his boys had qualified and went on to Nationals in Pueblo, Colorado and Shawnee, Oklahoma. One of his proudest moments of the boys’ rodeo careers was when they set the Canadian Team Roping record of 3.7 in 2001. The record stood until the fall of 2009. Wayne married Holly Greenwood from Louisiana on May 7, 1994 and they have been blessed with 4 children, Brooke, Hope Luke and Chase. They live on the east side of the ranch. Dale married Diane Petersen on October 5, 2002 and they have one little boy named Coy. They live right here at the ranch in the same yard. Jerry has so enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow up and the grandkids all had him wrapped around their fingers. He has also enjoyed watching Jack and Barb’s son, Tim grow up along with the grandkids. All of the kids love to ride and have been learning to rope. Jerry loved watching them and roping with them. In 1999 Jerry decided to go south to Arizona for a month and team rope, and had continued to go down every year since with every year staying just a little bit longer down there. This winter Jerry and Elaine purchased an acreage right beside where they have been staying for the past 10 years and stayed right to the end of March working on the new place. He was so excited and pleased with the place and was talking about all of his plans to fix up the acreage. It was his new project and he was looking forward to building it up to be “Skocdopole ready”. Anyone who knew Jerry knew that when he built something it wasn’t going to fall down! He built all the rafters for the indoor arena and was busy building portable corral panels at the time of his passing. Look around the ranch and you see his legacy everywhere in evidence. He took pride in doing a good job and always built something to last. The Skocdopole Way. Rest easy old friend. Jerry is survived by his wife, Elaine; sons, Wayne and Holly, Dale and Diane; five grand- children; Brooke, Hope, Luke, Chase and Coy; brothers and sister, Jim and Dixie Skocdopole, Jack and Barbara and Tim Skocdopole, Jean Selke and Don and Jane Skocdopole, mother-in-law, Hazel Pratt Snider, sisters-in-law, Lynn Pratt and Dixie Bergan as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many wonderful friends. Jerry is predeceased by his parents, Emil “Shorty” and Gladys Skocdopole, father-in-law Ace Pratt, step-father-in-law, Earl Snider, brother-in-law, Ernie Selke and niece, Juanita Schram. A memorial service for the late Mr. Jerry Skocdopole was held at The Ranch on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. with Kent Butterfield and Art Gallais officiating. A eulogy was read by Art Tizzard and Raymond Havens. Musical Tribute ‘Jerry’s Song” was performed by Linda Thurston, Lorri Gordon and Robyn Armstrong. The honorary pallbearers were “Everyone Who Has Shared In Jerry’s Life”. Following the service, the family invited everyone to join them for a bite to eat and a drink to celebrate Jerry’s life. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to S.T.A.R.S. Air Ambulance, Big Valley Fire Department or to the Big Valley Hall Board in care of Brennen Funeral Home and Cremation Services P.O. Box 193 Stettler, Alberta TOC 2LO who were entrusted with the care and arrangements. 403.742.3315.

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