William W. "Billy" Stearns

(June 17, 1916 - July 6, 2005)

The Lusk Herald
July 13, 2005

William W. "Billy" Stearns

William W. "Billy" Stearns, 89, Newcastle, died Wednesday, July 6, 2005, at Judy's Assisted Living in Belle Fourche, S.D.

Memorial services were held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 11, 2005, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Newcastle, with Deacon Ken Pitlick officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Friends of the Fair.

William W. "Billy" Stearns was born in Redbird Canyon just east of the Wyoming/South Dakota border on June 17, 1916, the first child of William A. and Dora (Murray) Stearns. He spent his earliest childhood in Whoop Up Canyon, then moved to the east side of Elk Mountain and attended Elk Mountain and Luzon schools. He graduated from Newcastle High School in 1934.

Upon graduation Billy assumed the responsibility of the Stearns Ranch. Billy was a horseman who broke his first colt at the age of ten and trained a lot of good ranch, rodeo and remount horses over the years. In the 1940s and 50s he enjoyed calf roping in rodeos around the region. He encouraged, mentored and mounted many young rodeo contestants and was a 4-H leader. Billy ranched in Weston and Niobrara Counties along the Wyoming/South Dakota line near Dewey, raising commercial cattle, horses and sheep.

He married Evelyn C. Dailey on July 3, 1939 at Douglas. They had two sons and one daughter, William A. Stearns of Newcastle, Carol McInerney of Spearfish and Joseph N. Stearns of Melville, Mont.

He also served lengthy terms on the Weston County Weed & Pest, Predator Board and School Board. He was a member of the Beaver Creek Grazing Association, Corpus Christi Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. His hobbies included reading and playing cribbage (he was known to the family as the champion of Beaver Creek and O'Neil Pass).

Billy's parents and his wife Evelyn preceded him in death. He is survived by his above-named children; five grandchildren, Lea Stodart of Edgemont, S.D., Mike McInerney of Gillette, Wyo., Paula McInerney-Hall of Lead, S.D., Shelly Stearns of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Cody Stearns of Cookeville, Tenn.; seven great grandchildren, his brother Norman Stearns of Newcastle, and many nieces and nephews, and other extended family members. He was a devoted family man, a friend to all he met and a good neighbor.

Arrangements were placed in the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance.

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Evelyn C. Stearns (June 10, 1912 - April 8, 2005)

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