Henry Albert Bledsoe
Henry A. Bledsoe passed away April 3, at the Wray Community District Hospital.
He was 84.
Henry was born Nov. 7, 1920, in Plainview, TX, the only son of Daisy Smith
and Henry Bledsoe.
The family owned ranches at Mule Shoe, TX, but because the nearest hospital
was in Plainview that became his birth place. When irrigation began appearing
in that part of the Texas Panhandle, the family traded the land in Texas
for a ranch in El Paso County, CO, because the family was involved primarily
Henry graduated valedictorian of his senior class at Ellicott High School
and scored a perfect 100 percent on his entrance exams to Colorado A&M
(now Colorado State University) in Ft. Collins, CO. He entered college
at age 14 and was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho. He graduated in 1941 with
honors and a degree in Economics and served as a second lieutenant in
the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
In 1943, he married Lucile Mary Driscoll, and they took up residence on
the Timberlake Ranch near Cheraw, CO. Hank and Lucile were blessed with
the birth of two children, Sandra Ann in 1946 and Robert Edward in 1947.
In 1948, Henry and Lucile purchased the former Sullivan Ranch, north of
Wray, and proceeded to add land in Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Together with his family, he incorporated a feedlot, central pivot irrigation,
and wheat production into the operation. His management skills advanced
corn, wheat, and cattle yields.
Henry was president of the Colorado Livestock Association (PCA), the Colorado
Cattle Feeders Association, Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association,
and Y-W Electric Association. He served as a board member of Tri-state
G&T, Trapper Mine Company and the Salt River Power Association. He
was also a member of the international Flying Farmers Association.
He was elected to the Ninth District Farm Credit Association board of
directors, headquarted in Wichita, KS, and served many years as board
president. During this time, he also served on the Farm Credit Council
in Washington, DC. He was the only person to be elected to two full terms
as president. He also served as an advisor to the Federal Farm Credit
Henry received the Jerry Litton Award as the foremost, progressive achiever
in the agriculture field. The award also recognized his efforts to steer
young graduates into the fields of agriculture and agricultural business.
Henry received many awards and honors within the livestock arena and banking
business. He acquired his private pilot’s license, but after his
wife and life-long partner, Lucile, advanced her degrees in aviation,
he related that he’d rather that she fly, while he’d ride
along and think about business.
All with whom Henry had business dealings—without fail—admired
his honesty and integrity and have expressed that fact of his life. With
Henry, a handshake sealed the deal.
In all his activities, he didn’t neglect the home front. Henry was
an active member of the Wray United Methodist Church, a 62-year member
of BPOE, a former Rotarian, and one of the original 49ers. It has been
said that he was the East Yuma County Sandhills Pitch Champion.
Henry was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Daisy Bledsoe, and
one sister Mary Lily Bledsoe Lauerman.
He is survived by his wife, Lucile, whom he called his partner and best
friend; daughter Sandy Bowman and husband Jim; and son Bob Bledsoe and
wife Becky. His grandchildren are Annabet Soehner and husband Curt; Grant
Bledsoe and wife Katie, all of Wray; J.J. Bowman and wife Angie of Lakewood,
and Doc Bowman of Madison, WI. Greatest of the great he’d say are
Lauren Keithly Soehner, Madalyn Driscoll Soehner, Jaydan Marie Brotton,
and Jackson Clark Bledsoe, his great-grandchildren.
Receiving of Friends was on Sunday, April 10, at the Spellman-Schmidt
Funeral Home in Wray. Funeral services were on Monday, April 11, at the
Wray United Methodist Church in Wray with Rev. Norman Stott officiating.
Memorials may be made to the Wray United Methodist Church in Wray, or
the Henry A. Bledsoe CSU Memorial Fund, c/o First Pioneer National Bank
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