In Loving Memory of Merle O. Frasier
~In Loving Memory~
Merle O. Frasier
July 21, 1920 - July 5, 2008
God looked around his garden
and he found an empty place.
He then looked down upon the earth
and saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you
and He lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best.
He knew that you would never
get well on earth again.
He saw the road getting rough
and the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
and whispered *Peace is thine.*
It broke our hearts to lose you
but you did not go alone
For part of us went with you
the day God took you home.
Though the smile is gone forever
and your hands we cannot touch
We will always have sweet memories
of the one we loved so much.
Merle 0. Frasier, rancher and cowboy of Dundy County, peacefully passed away on Saturday, July 5, 2008 at his "home", Lemay Avenue Health and Rehabilitation Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, at the age of 87 years.
Merle was born July 21, 1920 to Claude Oliver and Alma Charity (Bernard) Frasier, and lived with his parents and five siblings on the Frasier Ranch twenty-two miles north of Benkelman, Nebraska. He loved the feeling of the "wide-open-spaces" and at the early age of nine he was most familiar and adept at harnessing the work horses for the family's farming. He was a "right hand" man to his father, from whom he highly respected and patterned his ranching life. Merle was very proud of his family heritage.
Merle attended a one-room school house, Ash Grove, the school being located two miles from the ranch. Often his sister, Virginia and he would ride bareback to school carrying their lunches in a 'lard bucket'. He attended Wauneta High School for a couple of years. Because of his deep love for his family, he chose to return home and became truly dedicated to ranch life in the Sandhills of Southwest Nebraska.
On April 7, 1939, his young sweetheart, Alice Beth Sims, and he were married at McCook, Nebraska. The young couple moved into his grandparents Wm. And Cynthia Frasier's ranch, homesteaded in 1885, located a couple of miles south of his parent's ranch. To this marriage were born three daughters, Merlue Bethe, Dianne Claudette, and Jacqueline Lynn.
Merle and Beth put in hard work from sunrise to sunset. To provide for their three young daughters, there was farming, haying, feeding cattle, raising chickens, and milking cows.
His early years of working with horses inspired in him a lifetime love of breeding and raising "good" quarter horses. These horses excelled in performance and racing. He produced top rope, barrel, ranch, and race horses. Many of these horses were TAAA, with several World Champions running quarter horses, namely Frasier Bar and Melt Twist. The foundation bloodlines of the Spear Lazy F horses began in 1946 with Merle's first stud, Flint, purchased from the Coke T. Roberds ranch, Hayden, Colorado.
Merle's interest in "rodeoing" began when he and his friends would slip a rope around the family's milk cow and bet who could stay aboard the longest, which his parents strongly disapproved.
At an early age, Merle began roping cattle for doctoring in the pastures. Later he took calf roping seriously, and joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association with Number 906. He was proud of his lifetime membership as a Gold Card member of the RCA.
With a horse trailer in tow, Merle, Beth and the girls would rodeo as much as possible when they could get a break from the many chores at the ranch. As the girls became older riding their "first" barrel horse, Beetle Bomb, they would enter the barrel races. Merlue continued on with rodeoing through high school, college at Arizona State University, Colorado State University, and Women's Professional Rodeo Association, competing on horses that had been broke by Merle.
Merle had a very unique, soft way of breaking, handling and training horses. His philosophy was: "A horse has to have a purpose in his life, something to do, a job. Wet saddle blankets and many miles of riding make a solid, good usin' horse." There were many weekends when brothers, cousins and friends along with their wives and children would "haul" to the ropings at the Spear Lazy F Ranch. There was much laughter, fun and giving each other "good roping advice" and encouragement so when there came the time of rodeo competition, they were "shooting" for win, place or show.
Merle had a number of good roping horses, but one horse topped them all... that was 01' Billy. He was a phenomenal, natural calf horse that took Merle to the pay window almost every run he made on him. Later, Merlue was quite successful with 01' Billy running barrels at AQHA horse shows, Girls Rodeo Association, and at Colorado State University.
Merle was not one that followed in someone else's footsteps; he blazed his own trails. He often bought hundreds of southern cattle from Texas, Arizona, and Mexico. He, Beth, the girls, as well as his brothers, friends and neighbors, would all pitch in when it come to branding, dehorning, and vaccinating. It was an awesome sight to see him riding one of his quarter horses on a "dead run" across the prairie, dodging prairie dog holes and sage brush, while swinging his rope to catch a wild critter for doctoring.
Merle strongly believe in the Code of the West: that a man's handshake was his word on any deal. He always instilled in his daughters to "Never give up; you can succeed in whatever you do if you set your heart to it." This steadfast philosophy was with him until the day he passed from this life.
Merle was baptized at the Baptist Church in Miami, Texas, and often reached out to the Lord for His uplifting and guidance.
Merle had many lifelong friends through rodeoing, buying and selling cattle, raising and training performance and race horses. He never met a stranger. Preceding him in death are his parents; Claude and Alma Frasier; his daughter's mother, Beth Frasier; sister, Ena Phipps; and three brothers, Wilbur, Kenneth, and C.O. Frasier.
Survivors include his daughters, Merlue Davies and husband, Denny of Fort Collins, Colorado, Dianne Anderson of Drumright, Oklahoma, Jacqueline Herrick and husband, Roger of Stapleton, Nebraska; sister, Virginia Dixon of Benkelman, Nebraska; five grandchildren, Galen Anderson, Glenna Villarreal, Tyler and Jason Herrick, and Cody Bear Killer; six great-granchildren, Amanda and Dusti Thompson, Justin Villarreal, Beau and Kason Herrick, and Chloe Bear Killer; and a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
Merle's legacy and the Frasier heritage shall be carried on as promised by his daughters, Merlue and Dianne.
Merle O. Frasier
July 21, 1920 ~ Dundy County, Nebraska
Entered Into Rest:
July 5, 2008 – Fort Collins, Colorado
Thursday, July 10, 2008 ~ 11:00 a.m.
Forch Funeral Chapel – Benkelman, Nebraska
Rev. Brian Fong
"This Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine"
"Beyond The Sunset"
All of Merle's other
Final Resting Place:
Benkelman Cemetery – Benkelman, Nebraska
"Winning a Go - Round"
Merle and Ol' Billy at North Platte, Nebraska - 1967