(April 8, 1943 - March 22, 2014)
The Lusk Herald
April 2, 2014
LeRoy “Tuffy” Schrader was born in Brocksburg, NE the ninth of twelve children born to William and Dorothy Schrader. He attended Brocksburg School up until the eighth grade.
Tuffy lived on the home place called “The Wolf Creek Ranch” and learned at an early age what hard work was. There was no electricity at the time he lived there so they had to process all their food for storage (canning, butchering, etc.)
Tuffy lived on Wolf Creek Ranch until entering the Army on March 18, 1964 and he got out on March 17, 1966. He was first a Forward Observer for the heavy gunnery, then became a lineman.
After serving Uncle Sam he returned to the family farm/ranch and lived there until the time he married his first wife Diane Poellot on June 3rd, 1967. They lived on what was called the “Knapp Place”, a part of Wolf Creek Ranch, until 1969. From 1969 until 1971 he did power line construction. He hired on with NEA in 1971 in Lusk, WY where he retired after 33 years in 2004.
Even though retired he couldn’t get NEA or the crew that worked there out of his heart. He would be a “fixture” around NEA for a few more years. Some of the jobs he did for NEA included pole testing, handyman, groundskeeper, assisting the crew with outages and helping the new men learn the locations of places they needed to get to.
Tuffy and Diane divorced in 1987. They kept in contact with one another and were both there for their children, Cindy and Rick. He met his current wife Della in 1990 and they were married July 21, 1994.
This man loved Lusk, the people and the organizations that honored all service men and brought the community together in a positive way. If someone needed help he jumped in and helped them as soon as he knew of their need.
The great outdoors was dear to his heart. He also loved rodeo, the Legend of Rawhide, and the history of Lusk and all of Wyoming. Tuffy didn’t say this himself; instead he lived it every day of his life.
Tuffy was a member of the Elks Lodge #1797 here in Lusk for 42 years. He served on the Lusk Volunteer Fire Department until it was decided that he couldn’t be in two places at once, so he stepped down and remained at NEA. He also belonged to the American Legion and served on many boards including the Historical Society and worked with the Lusk Museum. Tuffy read every book he could find on Lusk and all of Wyoming.
This man wanted to support his community and did so, serving on the board for the Legend of Rawhide. He set the trees with the digger truck from NEA and the help of the crew. Again with the help of friends he cooked for the Legend by doing Cream Can Feeds. Playing “Old George” was something he looked forward to every year.
Hunting was also special to him, he went all out. Tuffy got every tag he could so he could make summer sausage to share with all his friends, and do the wildlife feeds bringing in people to share good food and good company. He enjoyed the cooking and the people that helped him do it.
Rodeo was yet another one of his loves. His events were bull riding, saddle bronc, wild horse racing and wild cow milking. Tuffy won his first belt buckle at age 40 at the “Old Timer’s Rodeo.” When a group of “Old Timers” got together and wanted to start a rodeo club in Lusk, he joined and was one of the first board members of the Senior Pro Rodeo in Lusk, WY.
As ranching was so much a part of his life, he enjoyed working with ranchers here and helped with moving cattle, roundups and brandings.
However, his love of his family was above all else. His daughter Cindy, her children (Devon, Kristie and Charles), her grandchildren (Alexis and Haliegh) and his son Rick, his children (Stephen, Wendie and Trenton), his grandson (Jayzen) all gave him their love as he has given to them. He also accepted Della’s son Tim, and later came to love her granddaughter (Thomasena) to the extent that she was adopted so his mind and heart could be at peace knowing that she would always be safe, loved, and cared for.
Many people call him “Dad”, others call him “Uncle Tuffy”, and because of Thomasena a lot of the younger children now call him “Grandpa”.
Tuffy was a strong man that stood up for what he believed in. His giving was never given to the point he wouldn’t reach down deep and give some more. He fought cancer for the last 23 years of his life and while doing so took care of all that was dear to his heart. He was a life member of the North American Hunting Club, the North American Fishing Club, the Elks Foundation and the National Rifle Association. He also helped out at the rifle range. Tuffy’s greatest gift to humanity was his love of humanity.
Memorials may be sent to Lusk Elks Lodge #1797 for the School Scholarship Fund.
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