Gale Lee Wiebers, a long time Holyoke resident, died October 1, 2021 at age 76 following a hard-fought battle with diabetes and renal disease. Gale was born October 2, 1944 in Sterling, Colorado to Lloyd and Mary Cecil (Sloan) Wiebers. As a child, Gale attended the Rockland School and graduated from Fleming High School in 1963 where he was active in sports, especially football. Gale often shared fond memories of his time on the football team under the leadership of his coach, Jim Gribben.
Growing up as one of twelve children, Gale learned early on the importance of working hard on the family farm to complete any necessary task. Gale’s parents served for many years as 4-H leaders and were staunch supporters of anything related to 4-H and agriculture. Following high school Gale spent a short time with the Army National Guard before entering the Professional Bull Riding circuit where he rodeoed nationally and in Canada and won many competitions and honors. After returning to the area, Gale met and married Shirley Jernberg of Yuma where they lived with their son Justin for many years. He began trucking for Shop-All Foods, Dean Cassleman in Haxtun, and ultimately drove milk truck for Western Dairy (now Dairy Farmers of America) for 18 years before being forced to retire due to health issues. Gale owned his own trucking business during his time with Western Dairy and leased his truck back to them on his days off. Gale was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Yuma, enjoyed participating in Yuma County Fair activities, and was also a member of the Old Thresher’s Association. Gale and his son, Justin, traveled the United States showing Brown Swiss cattle during Justin’s childhood.
In 1996 Gale met and later married Patricia (Varley) Mills, a long-time educator in Yuma. They were married March 21, 1998, and in the fall of 1999 Gale and Pat moved to Holyoke where she accepted a job with the Holyoke Schools as a Band Director. Gale worked for the schools as well for several years as a maintenance supervisor before going to work for Phillips County also as a maintenance supervisor where he worked until his retirement in 2010. Gale’s love for anything related to county fairs and rodeos only grew over the years he spent in Holyoke. He became very active in improving the Phillips County Fairgrounds and served on the steering committees for both the Phillips County Event Center and the Bank of Colorado Pavilion. He also helped spearhead and organize Colorado Junior Rodeo Association (CJRA) rodeos for many years and maintained the arena at the fairgrounds for all events for well over 15 years. Gale served on the Phillips County Fair Board for many years and worked tirelessly to help provide enjoyable and meaningful fair and rodeo experiences for all.
Gales was a long-time antique tractor puller and was a member of the East Central Colorado Antique Tractor Association. Gale also collected antique Oliver tractors (18 in all) and enjoyed restoring them. Additionally, Gale was an avid cookie jar collector and owned over 50 at the time of his death.
Survivors include his wife Patricia of Holyoke, son Justin Wiebers and wife Kristey of Wamego, Kansas, daughters Faith Mills and Hope Mills, both of Scottsbluff, Nebraska and grandchildren Annika, Alena, Marek, and Amaree Wiebers of Wamego, Kansas and Demetria and Morgan Mills of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He is also survived by siblings Betty Parsons of Roscommon, Michigan, Rose Sloan of Commerce City, Colorado, Don Wiebers and wife Cheryl of Owanka, South Dakota and Jim Wiebers of Otis, Colorado, a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, and many loved ones, family, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father Lloyd and Mary Cecil (Sloan) Wiebers, and siblings, Fred Wiebers, Dale Wiebers, Icel Choplin, Helen Wilson, Elain Reed, Donna (Dottie) Franks, and Leo Wiebers.
Viewing will be Wednesday, October 6 from 1:00-6:00 at the Baucke Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Thursday, October 7 at 10:30 am at Holyoke First Christian Church followed by burial at the Riverside Cemetery in Sterling at 2:00 pm.
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