Jerry Gliko – top hand, top notch, top friend
The agriculture industry took another hit, with the loss of an icon. A ringman, a salesman, a cattle buyer, a businessman, but always first, a friend, to so many, Jerry Gliko, 75, passed away on Feb. 10, 2019, in Great Falls, Mont. A Little Belt native, and Belt, Mont., resident, he left behind lots of great stories, that span across many states and even into other countries.
I had the pleasure of working with him at WLJ between 2010 and 2014, and I looked forward to my weekly phone calls with him. Jerry wasn’t into the computer stuff yet. His sale reports typically came in faxed and hand-written.
While his computer knowledge may have been lacking (or non-existent), I got the better end on a good trade — the man was a wealth of information on cattle and each phone call I had with him, I hung up smiling. His sense of humor and outlook on life were amazing.
“I traveled a million miles with this guy while he was working for Western Livestock Journal,” John Goggins, with Western Ag Reporter shared with me. “So proud to have called him one of my very best friends.”
“And we were competitors,” Goggins pointed out. “But that’s what’s unique about our industry. We are competitors, but in the ring, we become a team.”
While the number of actual miles the man put on vehicles will never be known, the stories will only get better.
“I remember the days he drove an old T-bird,” Pete Crow, WLJ, shared with me.
“He was infectious to everyone he was around. They didn’t just like him, they loved him,” Goggins said.
Jerry didn’t know a stranger and it didn’t matter if a person flew in on a jet plane or drove in, in an old beat up pick-up, Jerry treated them the same, Goggins said.
“I don’t know that he ever had a bad day. He was always upbeat.”
A LEGACY TO JERRY
Rick Urick, Jerry’s brother, posted a note on John Goggin’s Facebook post honoring Jerry, which had garnered well over 200 posts on Feb. 13. “Thank you for this post regarding my older brother Jerry. It’s so humbling to hear testimony from so many. He left behind a wonderful legacy and touched so many lives! So blessed to be called his brother.”
The sentiment was echoed over and over, and his business connections were just as strong.
“He had a good eye for cattle,” both Goggins and Crow said.
“Jerry was always extra dependable and professional in every sense. I could always know he would get my advertising done on time and correct and would be a good company man on our sale day. Our customers definitely had confidence in his handling their bids. He earned his retirement well and will rest in peace,” Buddy Westphal, from Polson, Mont., wrote.
“Sad to hear of the passing of Jerry. A fantastic ringman who was an all around good guy,” wrote Dr. Bob Hough, Lonetree, Colo.
Jerry was also a pivotal point in the Saler cattle breed coming to the United States, according to Goggins. Salers were first imported into the United States in 1972, after Jerry spent some time in France learning about the breed.
Jerry’s legacy in the cattle industry began at birth. Born in Great Falls, Mont., on June 10, 1943, to Rudy Gliko and Edna Lee Gliko, Jerry began life on the ranch in Little Belt. His life came full circle back to the ranch, where he and his brother, Gary, have spent the last several years working together.
Just shy of his third birthday, Jerry suffered the untimely loss of his father Rudy. Gary joined the family three months later and Edna moved everyone to Great Falls for a short period of time. They soon returned to the ranch. Aided by faith and trust in God with help from family and neighbors, they moved forward. In 1951, Edna married Tony Urick. Three sisters and a brother were added to the family.
Jerry attended one-room country schools around the ranch through grade eight and then graduated from Belt Valley High School. In 1961, he headed off to Montana State College in Bozeman to study animal science. After numerous interruptions, a college degree was obtained in the spring of 1969.
GIFT OF GAB
Jerry’s first stint as a fieldman was with the American Hereford Association, out of Kansas City, Mo. This job would take him to various states, and eventually into ranch management. But for 35 plus years, Jerry was at home with WLJ, and maintained a home base in Montana. He also worked in livestock insurance and produced the annual Stock Growers Association Directory.
“Agriculture and the cattle industry were his life-long occupations. His eternal optimism and gift of gab suited him well over the years,” the family shared.
Jerry met his wife, Elaine, in Ohio. They were married in Kansas City, Mo., in December of 1973, before moving to Billings, where sons Josh and Aron completed their family. While there, Jerry, enjoyed many family activities that centered around fishing and boating and spending time with his wife and sons. In 2008, Jerry and Elaine moved to their current residence, north of Belt.
In recent years Jerry has found strength through his church and the Knights of Columbus activities. Not to mention, those special visits with relatives, family and old friends.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 45 years, Elaine of the family home; son Josh of Bozeman and San Diego, Calif.; son Aron of Bozeman; brothers Gary Gliko of Great Falls, Rick (Barb) Urick of Waxhaw, N.C.; sisters Debbie (Russ) Sorensen of Butte, Virginia (Bruce) Sorensen of Belgrade, and Becky Murray of Belgrade; sister-in-laws Jane of Pickerington, Ohio, and Lin of Princeton, N.J.; brother-in-law Joe Adams of Lancaster, Ohio; and 14 nieces and nephews and their families.
Preceding Jerry in death were his parents, Rudy Gliko and Edna Gliko Urick; parents-in-law Joe and Ruth Adams, and nephew Drew Murray.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Belt Volunteer Ambulance, St. Mark’s Knights of Columbus and Peace Hospice.
The family would to like extend their sincere thanks to all of those who have extended such loving care of Jerry.
A vigil was held at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Belt on Feb. 14, 2019. Funeral liturgy was held at St. Mark’s in Belt on Feb. 15, 2019. Cremation has taken place under the direction of O’Connor Funeral Home and internment of the ashes will take place at a later date.
Condolences for the family may be left at http://www.OConnorFuneralHome.com. ❖
— Eatherton is a freelance writer from Beulah, Wyo. When she’s not writing, she’s riding her horse or playing with her grandson. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.