John E. “Jack” Brodie
Jack Brodie was born in Lander August 29, 1925 and spent his entire life in Lander. He was the son of John and Annie Jane (Jean) Brodie, Scottish immigrants who came through Ellis Island to Lander in 1921 to raise Suffolk sheep. When Jack was a young boy, his parents wintered their sheep in the Lander area and summered them in the Big Horn mountains. Each spring Jack and his sister rode horseback from Lander to Lysite trailing the sheep and spent the summers in a sheep wagon. In the fall they trailed the sheep back to Lander.
Jack attended school in Lander and graduated from Fremont County Vocational High School. Upon graduation, he joined the Navy directly out of high school and served during World War II on a cargo ship and aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.
After an honorable discharge from the Navy, Jack returned to Lander and went to work at the Dallas Dome Oil Field south of Lander. During this time, he leased a small place close to the oil field and purchased his first cattle. This would begin his life as a cattle rancher, cowboy and livestock broker.
Jack participated in calf roping at the local rodeos. One summer when Irene and the kids were visiting Irene’s family in Kansas, his calf roping horse bucked him off into a feed bunk and broke both wrists. With no one around to help, he drove himself the 10 miles to the Lander hospital in a pickup that did not have an automatic transmission!
Jack’s dad passed away in 1956. Jack left the oil field to take over his dad’s sheep and wool business in addition to his own cattle operation. In 1959, he and Irene purchased the Shady Dell Ranch in Sinks Canyon. One night a pack of dogs killed many his sheep. Seeing this happen several times in past years to his dad, he sold the remaining sheep and continued with cattle.
He and Irene raised five children, all who became very involved in 4-H, FFA, the Fremont County Jr. Sheriffs Possee, Little Britches Rodeo, Junior Rodeo and High School Rodeo. He always made sure his children had good horses to ride and was always involved in his children’s activities.
In 1971, Jack sold the Shady Dell Ranch and became a full-time cattle buyer operating under the name of Brodie Livestock. His word and handshake were known to be as good as any written contract. His cattle buying business took him all over Fremont County, to many ranches in the south west corner of the state and even to California. He subsequently purchased the Lander Sales Barn and ran it for three years.
In 1978, Jack and Irene purchased the Bybee Ranch on North 2nd Street where he continued to run cattle and raise hay. His two sons, Chuck and Jock continue to run this operation today and continued with the D- brand which has been in the family for over 50 years.
Jack was a founding member of the Lander Cutter Racing Association and the Lander Old Timers Rodeo Association and remained an active member in both organizations for many years. In March of 1966 he won the Wyoming Cutter Race Championship and represented Wyoming at the World Championship Cutter and Chariot Races meet in Pocatello, Idaho. As an original member of the Lander Old Timers Rodeo Association he helped raise the down payment money for the indoor arena in Lander. He was also a member of the American Legion, the Lander Elks Club, the One-Shot Antelope Club, Wyoming Farm Bureau and the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association.
For 25 years, Jack and Irene prepared and served the luncheon for the One-Shot Antelope Hunt Team members at their ranch in Sinks Canyon the day before the big hunt. Jack was a member of the Wyoming One Shot team in 1977. He continued as a guide for many past shooters and their friends until his death. Jack & Irene received an award from the One-Shot Antelope Hunt organization for their many years of service. One of the many Water for Wildlife wells is named for Jack & Irene. Through the years, he and Irene made many lifelong friends from all over the United States and some foreign countries. They were privileged to attend the Apollo XVII launching at Cape Canaveral Florida on Dec 7, 1972 after being invited by the One-Shot Antelope Hunt astronaut’s team.
Jack was always ready to help a neighbor and loved watching and helping his children, grandchildren, and great grand-children with their rodeo, school sports and other activities. He raised colts for each of his grandchildren and enjoyed helping other young people with his passion for the western way of life. He was a permanent fixture at all the junior rodeos, high school rodeos, helping young people whether it was working the roping chute, flagging the field, working the catch pens or simply helping some little kid saddle his horse. He shared his passion for fishing and hunting and his zest for life with all his family and friends.
Jack past away in January 2013 at his home in Sinks Canyon. He is survived by his wife, Irene and five children, Diana Brodie (Mel Dahl), Chuck (Anel) Brodie, Katie (Brad) Meredith, Mike Brodie (Launa Christie), and Jock (Susan) Brodie; eight grandchildren, Sonya and Tommy (Reanna) Heil, Amanda (Tracy) Rue and Jessica (Ira) Waldron, Cain (Leslie) and Heather Brodie, Jake and Sam Brodie and five great-grandchildren.