Bill Shackelford passed away from congestive heart failure on April 25, at the age of 74 in Sheridan, Wyoming. He was a third-generation Sheridan rancher and esteemed businessman. He was a titan of sales and business in the Western Sales Industry, winning numerous awards and holding many official positions. He was past president and chairman of the board for WESA which is the world’s largest Sales Organization for Western and English Equestrian-related products and was a consultant and mentor to many in the industry. He created and was president of WESTRUST which is a non-profit organization that helps those in need financially that are in the Western Industry. He was also a big contributor to the Miss Rodeo America and Miss Rodeo Wyoming pageants and contestants and many, many local, state and western regional rodeos and ropings. There are few youngsters in Sheridan County who rodeo that haven’t won a bridle, breast collar, saddle pad or saddle he did not donate. Bill and his wife, Janice, won the prestigious sponsor of the year award for the Miss Rodeo Wyoming Association in 2008.
He was a true cowboy, as a teen working cattle for The Gill Cattle Company in Montana and other local area ranches. He rodeoed in high school and in his early college years. He raised longhorns and quarter horses and grew grass hay on his beautiful Sheridan ranch where he rode his horse, Coors, and roped up until last summer. He was very proud and happy that his son, Scott, and family could move to Sheridan recently and take over the ranch.
He did enjoy life to the fullest and on his terms. His word and a handshake were his bond. He leaves those who knew him with many wonderful memories and he will be a huge loss to all whom he held dear.
He leaves his beloved wife, Janice and her three sons, Justin Houston (Rebecca), Jason Houston (Nikole), Jordan Seiler (Dakotah) and five grandchildren. His brother Richard (Dick) Shackelford (Gloria) and two nephews. His daughter Lisa Shackelford and one grandson. His son Scott Shackelford (Susie), six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
According to his wishes, there will be no funeral services; however, a summer Open House will be held in his honor so friends and family can gather to enjoy each other and reflect on their good memories and times with Bill. No flowers but please donate instead, no matter how small, to the Sheridan County High School Rodeo Association. Please send donations to Sheridan County HS Rodeo Association, P.O. Box 7188, Sheridan, WY, 82801.
He loved and lived the true western lifestyle, he was never without his cowboy hat, a great pair of boots, a good horse and enjoyed a good glass of scotch. He fought gallantly against great odds over the last five years and he will be greatly missed and now he can rest, as another cowboy rides away.