GLENDO – Wayne Ivan Leetch was born on Wednesday, July 21, 1954 to Harold W. and Grace Amelia (Homrighausen) Leetch in Alliance, Nebraska. He passed away due to cancer on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 at his home with his family by his side as they always were.
He was raised in Marsland, Nebraska on the family ranch and also helped his uncles Ernie and Dell Homrighausen. He attended high school in Harrison, Nebraska for two years and graduated from Crawford, Nebraska in 1972. He also got a good education in the pool hall during high school.
After graduation, he worked for various ranches around the Harrison, Crawford, Marsland and Hemingford areas, developing a ranching and horsemanship skill set that was second to none.
Wayne went to run the home place in Marsland where he ran yearlings and cows and spent more time farming than he would ever admit to later in life.
He met Laura Reynoldson one evening in town and unbeknownst to him she decided she would marry him one day. It took 11 years and two girls later, but they did get married Aug. 25, 1994. They had Pamela on Feb. 2, 1985. The cattle market crashed, and they went to work for Grover Thompson in the sandhills.
In 1987, Wayne, Laura and Pam moved to Glendo. Jessica joined the family on Jan. 1, 1988. The family worked for and grew up on Gene Russell’s ranch on Horseshoe Road west of Glendo until 2001. At that time Wayne went to work for John Manning in Hemingford again for the third time. He didn’t like being away from the girls while they were still in high school so he came back to the Glendo area and worked on various ranches until he started on the State Highway Department which he retired from in 2016.
After that he spent his time between all of the various projects Laura and the girls had continuously lined up for him. He also spent time day working around the Glendo, Wheatland and Cheyenne areas.
Wayne truly believed in working hard and playing just as hard. He loved brookie trout fishing in the mountains, elk hunting, experimental cooking, trapping, playing pool, and raising Cain in the bar.
One of his pastimes included going on drives in the evening and killing rattlesnakes. In all the years, he swears he only had one rattlesnake get away from him and he’s still holding that grudge.
Wayne was also known for trading and breaking horses. He thoroughly enjoyed making a colt into a good horse and forming kids into good people. And he certainly had a hand in making some amazing horses and people.
Along with that, Wayne enjoyed participating in many ranch rodeos with the girls and other friends.
For over 35 years, Wayne participated in the Legend of Rawhide in Lusk. He was an outrider for Fred Nance and his hitch of oxen for many years and after that spent his time helping Pam and Jessie with whatever team they were taking that year and keeping them safe and organized.
More than once you could hear one of the girls yelling for his help and he was always there for them and anyone else who needed it. In fact, if any friend was in need of help, he would always drop what he was doing just to help whether it was a with a mad bull, a bad horse, working cows, or just needed an ear. He would even go help his son-in-law farm when John needed it.
He was mans’ man and a handshake and his word meant more to him than any written decree. He was often a quiet and reserved man but his actions spoke louder than words.
One of his favorite sayings was “walk softly but carry a big stick.” Wayne also had a great and unique sense of humor; he was always willing to play a joke on people. With a little encouragement, he had a great yodeling tune and a mule impression that was outstanding.
More than anything, Wayne loved spending time with his family and friends.
Wayne is survived by his loving wife Laura of Glendo, daughter Pam Leetch and boyfriend Eric Farrar of Dwyer, daughter Jessica Reece and husband John Reece of Glendo, grandson Steven Reece, and granddaughter Hattie Reece, and longtime close family friend Willie Coziahr. sisters and families: Sharon and Martin Fenner of Hemingford, Nebraska, Phyllis Whitaker of Glendo and Ronda and Bob VanWinkle of Minatare, Nebraska. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, sister and brother-in-law Nancy and Paul Buhr, brother-in-law Kermit Whitaker, and nephew Daryl Connor.
Wayne’s services will be held Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022 at the Glendo Ranch Rodeo Arena in Glendo at 1 p.m. The family will be riding horses and driving a team and wagon from the airport north of Glendo into the arena.
The family would be honored if anyone would like to join us riding into town and will leave the airport about 12:40 p.m.
There will be plenty of parking and bleachers at the arena for anyone who doesn’t want to ride. A reception will be held at the arena after the service in a large tent.
In parting, in the words of Wayne, “whatever you do, don’t get excited.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Marge Cares, P.O. Box 155, Glendo, WY 82213.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland, Wyoming is assisting with the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com.