James Lester (Jim) Shepperson October 14, 1944 - November 11, 2021


LANCE CREEK – James Lester (Jim) Shepperson of Lance Creek passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, November 11, 2021, with his wife Waive at his side. Jim started his battle with cancer in 2012, fighting it off and on over the past nine years. He fought it with courage, and he always had a smile on his face.

Jim was born on October 14, 1944, to Frank Lester Shepperson and Billie Jean Covington-Shepperson. Jim was raised on a ranch 15 miles southwest of Midwest, Wyoming. He was known for his work ethic, which was started early due to being raised with no electricity or running water. He was packing wood, hauling water, and doing ranch work at an early age. In those days the range was not fenced, so he and his siblings were horseback all the time. They could ride 50 miles to the Big Horn Mountains without opening a gate.

Jim was the youngest of three siblings – he had an older brother, Frank, and a sister Sally. They grew up in the Midwest area and they all rode to school at Midwest in a WW2 Jeep with no cab. There were many very cold days and hot days, but Jim never complained. At home with Frank and Sally is where he learned to fight and ride.

Jim attended Midwest High School where he played basketball and football for Midwest. He also competed in high school rodeo where he excelled at Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, and Calf Roping. After high school he went to the University of Wyoming where he was a member of their rodeo team.

While at UW the family bought a farm in the Big Horn Basin near Cowley. Jim had never even driven a tractor, but he managed that farm. While on that farm, he married Alice Gibson and had two boys, Baxter and Billy. Both Baxter and Billy served in the US Marine Corps.

Later Jim married Emily Bush. She had two kids, Emile, and Heather. Jim always treated them like his own, helping them to learn to ranch, rodeo, and supporting them in their education.

The family bought a ranch near Thermopolis on Owl Creek and stayed for some time, but then sold it and leased a place near Jeffrey City that is known as The McIntosh Ranch. They eventually left there and moved to Dull Center. After a divorce from Emily and selling that ranch, he moved to West Lance Creek on Twenty Mile Creek and married Waive Yager, the love of his life. With that union, Jim acquired more family that he loved as his own.

Jim had a love for good horses and was a good stockman as well. In all the places he lived, he was known for his work ethic, his good humor, his positive attitude, and his physical and mental toughness. He was also very well known for his athletic prowess in and out of the saddle. He was a lifelong cowboy. One of his favorite things was going to help friends, neighbors, and family at brandings. He loved the comradery, and could out-rope most in the branding pen.

He was preceded in death by his son, Billy James Shepperson, and his parents, Frank and Billie Jean Shepperson.

He is survived by his wife Waive, and her family, Chaynee Yager (Jodie Booth), Dakota (Joce) Forkner, Dallie (Dakin) Rummel, Dillon (Kylee) Forkner and their families. He is also survived by his son Baxter (Regina) Shepperson, his grandchildren Kyle, Naomi, James Lester (the second); daughter-in-law Clare and her daughter Alice Rose Shepperson; his sister Sally (Wally) Ramsbottom and brother Frank (Susan) Shepperson; and many nieces and nephews.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held Dec. 17, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds, Lusk, Wyoming

Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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