Dad, Jack Everett Norgard, saddled up and rode away peacefully on February 8, 2020 at the Oyen Extended Care. Jack was born on March 28, 1934 in Claresholm, AB and lived there for 84 years. Dad moved to Oyen December 15, 2018 to be closer to his family. Jack joined his wife, Donna, parents, Viggo & Elna, brothers, Henry and Ken, twin sister Joan, sister-in-law Mada, brothers-in-law Murray Alm & George Sutcliffe, niece Sherry Dale Orge and nephew John Norgard.
For those of you who knew Dad, you know he loved the simple life living on Poverty Creek Ranch for 50 years until the age of 82. The best cattle were herefords and the best rum was Lemon Hart (especially in the Stavely Bar) Dad’s hero was John Wayne and he only wanted to watch John Wayne movies, listen to Hank Snow and Johnny Cash, or read Louis L’amour books. Dad enjoyed dancing with Mom, coffee time with neighbors, picking raspberries from his garden, and camping and fishing in the Gap with various friends, most often with Don & Myrna Glimsdale and Al &Helen McKee. Dad was well known for having a sweet tooth and holds the record for eating 7 pieces of pie after supper at Lorne & Marion Hoffman’s branding, as well as eating 21 pancakes and 12 cobs of corn on other occasions. In the early years Dad enjoyed hunting with his brother Ken and cousin, Geoff Norgard. He enjoyed teaching everything he knew about hunting, including his Elk call to his nephew Darcy Alm and neighbor boys Skip Selk and Craig DeForest. Dad also enjoyed calf roping with his cousin Arnold Norgard and was better known as “Blurr”. Brandings were done the old fashion way with a wood burning fire to heat up the JN brand, great neighbors came to help and cold beer was in the creek, and a hereford roast followed for supper. Rails were cut each year from back west to fix corrals and extra wood gathered for his wood burning stove in the house. Dad will be fondly remembered for composing his song “Alf Alfie High”, telling Ollie and Olga jokes, and teaching all the young folks Danish words. Dad was quite proud of his Danish decent and never let up on reminding everyone and bragging about it. Pete heard several times how lucky he was to have married a Danish Gal.
Dad loved calving out and raising Hereford cattle as well as raising and breaking colts (his favorite were strawberry roans) on the ranch. He supplemented his income by milking cows and working for the neighboring Sharples Ranch for 25 years. Moving cows by horseback from home to the 44 for green summer grass and back home again in the fall was a hi-lite each year.
After selling the ranch, Dad moved to the Porcupine Hills Lodge for 3 years. All the staff was very good to him and he especially enjoyed going out for meals if `Dean` was cooking. He loved teasing them all about going to the Stavely bar. His close friends Joan Larson, Art Peters, Toni Jost and Don & Myrna Glimsdale were very good to him and took him out for meals at his favorite restaurants like `Roy`s Place` and the old post office `` Fresh Sugar` for ice cream. Dad`s will to continue living was inspired by looking forward to seeing his 2 grandsons, grand daughter and great grandson. He especially looked forward to Christmas with the fam jam and to have Deb`s turkey stuffing and gravy that tasted just like Auntie Kari`s. The wing and the neck were reserved for him only.
We were truly blessed to have dad move closer for this past year, we got to see him every day and the Oyen Extended Care Staff (including his favorite son in law –Pete) took excellent care of this “shy old cowboy” – who insisted on wearing his blue jeans every day!
Jack aka Dad, Gramps, Papa, Bixie, Cowboy Jack and Uncle Jack will be sadly missed by his daughter Deb, his favorite son-in-law Pete, Grandsons Derek (wife Brandi) & Dustin, his special Great Grandson Jackson Rafa, sisters Gladys Sutcliffe and Leona (Don) Smith, numerous nieces and nephews, and his long- time friend and partner in crime, Art Peters. Until we meet again, love you Dad, “SKOAL”.
A family memorial will be held in Claresholm at a later date.
See that old Saddle, up there on the rail
If it could talk, it would tell you a tale
Of riders it's known and those that were thrown
Of Wranglers and rustlers and strawberry roan.
It's held some tiny cowboys riding tandem with their Dad
And known more than a horse or two that surely were plumb bad
It carried Grampa Charlie home, when his heart gave out that day
And Becky to her wedding on the twenty-fifth of May.
It's been witness to more cowboys riding rough stock than we know
Used by pick up men a plenty at the local rodeo
Carried new calves through the storm, when old winter wouldn't quit
And lovers on a moonlight ride, just for the pleasure of it.
The leather now is dark with age, patched and worn, it's true
A rider it won't hold again.... that saddle's paid it due
Still it rests there paying homage to a wondrous history
In the ranchlands of Alberta, and the Cowboy Legacy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jack Everett Norgard, please visit our floral store.
Oyen and District Health Care Foundation
Box 150, Oyen AB T0J 2J0