He attended Barlow Canyon Country School and Hulett High School, where he graduated in 1951. He had his heart set on attending college so he made a deal with his father: in exchange for the opportunity to get an education, he vowed to come home and work the land.
Jw attended the University of Wyoming, majored in agronomy and graduated with honors in 1955. Shortly after returning home, Jw began to focus on the sheep business, where he met the love of his life, Thea Ellen, daughter of Sam and Patty Amspoker, from Douglas, Wyoming. Jw and Thea were married on September 13, 1959, and they raised five children on the G-G Ranch.
Jw never knew a stranger, and he loved his friends, his family and his country. He always enjoyed a good visit and was passionate about learning new things, whether from a conversation, a book or one of numerous publications he kept all around the house, just in case there was a spare moment for reading.
He believed knowledge was for sharing, not guarding, and was glad to impart what he had learned to help others. As a gifted analyst with an excellent memory, Jw had a knack for telling wonderful and enlightening stories, often linking detailed local history to present-day events and families.
In return, he loved to hear a good story, whether told, read, watched or ending with a clever punch line, and his bright blue eyes would crinkle and sparkle as he laughed at the wit. His word and his handshake were worth more than the formality of any contract he signed, and he was loyal to many things he believed in; go Pokes, go Red Devils, yes to Agriculture and vote Republican!
Jw volunteered countless hours promoting and supporting agriculture and was an icon in the industry. He served on various boards: Farm Bureau, Wool Growers, Stock Growers, Grazing Association, Predator and the American Sheep Industry.
He was instrumental in establishing the Center of the Nation Wool Corporation, where he was involved for 58 years, as well as the Mountain States Lamb Co-op. Jw was elected to the school board, was a county commissioner, served as chairman of the Crook County Republican Party and was appointed to serve as a director on the Wyoming Livestock Board.
In his daily life on the ranch, Jw treasured a fast-walking horse and a natural working dog. He loved country music, and you could sometimes hear his radio coming before you heard the pickup.
His sweet tooth for double-helpings of ice cream and Thea’s homemade desserts was only surpassed by his ability to never gain weight. He relished the chance to give a tour of the beautiful ranch he called home, and he so detested the sight of noxious weeds on his land that he would even pause a visit to take care of one.
Forever plotting the next project and improvement, Jw was immensely proud of his land and its history, and he fulfilled a life-long dream when, at the age of 62, he climbed to the top of nearby Devils Tower with Zeta and Gary.
Jw became a Christian at the age of 66, and was baptized in the First Baptist Church of Hulett in September of 1999. Even as his heart slowly failed, he truly kept living his life right to the very end.
Jw is survived by his wife of 58 years, Thea, and his greatest legacy, which is his family: children Nan (Tom) Neiman, Dawn (Shannon) Brengle all of Gillette, Zeta (Gary) Anderson of Devils Tower, Will (Laura) Nuckolls of Hulett, and Sam (Kristy) Nuckolls of Ft. Worth, TX.
He will be greatly missed by his 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren: Brittany (Logan) Lindholm and boys Malachi and Jude; Tori (Caleb) Speiser and children Lydia and Zander; Brandi (Tanner) Hart and children Harper, Rylan, Ryker and baby to come; Teresa (Jesse) Tierney and newborn Tommy Dale; Kate Brengle and son Oliver; Grace Belize Anderson and Faith Honey Anderson; Lance (Samantha) Nuckolls and boys William and Matthew; Kyle Nuckolls and Charlie McClain; Melissa (Aaron) Meinen and son Andrew; Tyler (Amy) Nuckolls and son Raylan; Kayli Nuckolls; nieces, nephews and a great many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents; all of his siblings: Wilma Sihar-Silan, Emma Heiser, Lois Nuckolls, Eve Neiman, Steve Nuckolls, Billy Nuckolls; and one granddaughter, Hope Marie Anderson. Memorials have been established for the Hulett Volunteer Fire Department and Hulett EMS.
A celebration of life service will be at 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at the Greater Hulett Community Center with burial to take place at the Hulett Cemetery. A luncheon and fellowship will follow the burial at the Greater Hulett Community Center.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance.
Online condolences may be written at www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.