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January 21, 1932 – December 7, 2022

William (Bill) Frank Doke was a farmer and rancher and experienced a life well lived. He moved on from his life’s work and gently passed on Wednesday, December 7, 2022. He was a strong and stoic man who was deep with thought, resolute in faith, and a tireless worker. He served God well, made the world a better place, and can rest easy as the job was well done.
Bill was born on January 21, 1932 to William McCall and Ellen (Dunn) Doke, in Milliken, Colorado 1932. He grew up in Gill, Colorado, attending grades 1 through 12, graduating in 1950. Bill was an active participant in football and basketball in high school. After graduation, he worked at the Great Western sugar factory and went to work for his Uncle Jim in the Longmont, Colorado, area.
Bill met his high school sweetheart Sylvia Joyce Fritzler at a basketball game in Gill, Colorado. She attended Greeley Central high school. It was love at first sight, and the lovestruck couple later eloped to Raton, New Mexico, in 1952, a union that would last nearly 70 years. He always desired to be a farmer and work with animals. He loved both.
Bill faced challenges and accomplished things that would have deterred others from the farming and ranching passion that he carried. When he was 18 years old lost his hand in a farm accident. This event profoundly impacted Bill and Sylvia and their future life together and shaped the man he became.
His accomplishments as a farmer and rancher are impressive but accomplishing them with one hand is beyond comprehension. His works and challenges were noted in an article in the Fence Post magazine dating back to the 1950s.
When he started farming, the banks would not finance his farming operations. He was viewed as high-risk. His father-in-law (Jake T. Fritzler) funded his first farm; from there, it grew to what it is today, a legacy that continues with his son and grandson-in-law.
Bill was the quintessential farmer. He did things with a handshake. His words were steel, and his promises irrevocable. If he committed, he followed through. He was honest and transparent. He told you what he thought; he spoke his truth.
Bill began farming alongside Sylvia and raised alfalfa and sheep in the Galeton/Eaton area at their first farm. Bill also sold real estate for several years. They had two boys and later a girl during this time. William Gary (Gary) and Randall Jacob (Randy) are presently living in Wray, Colorado, and Kristine Marie (Kristi), resides in Parker, Colorado. The family moved in 1969 to Goodland, Kansas, where the family farm focused on raising sugar beets for seven years.
Bill and Sylvia raised two boys who loved horses, competed in athletics, and were accomplished equestrians competing in multiple rodeo events. They enjoyed their time in Goodland driving Kristi around the tri-state area, where Kristi competed in numerous equestrian events, including Little Britches and drill team.
Bill and Sylvia purchased land and moved the family to Wray in 1974. They developed the land into highly productive irrigated croplands and raised cattle until they retired from farming in 2000. They eased into their retirement, settling in the Greeley area in 1997 to take care of Sylvia’s parents.
Bill was a dedicated farmer and had few hobbies. However, for a period, he competitively raced quarter horses. He was very proud of his accomplishment with notable horses such as Express Girl and Coronado Gold with a 118-speed index, which, even these days, is considered world-class. His daughter served as a jockey, and they toured the Front Range of Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas, competing in many historic horseracing venues. He loved his horses.
Bill loved his grandchildren Daniel Jacob [Dan], (William Tyler [Tyler], Amy Lynn, Clayton Layne [Clay], Kaytlyn Taylor [KT], Nicholle Marie, and Nikolas Norman [Nik]. They made every effort to be around them as they grew and matured.
Bill built four magnificent homes, of which he was extremely proud. He built a house in Wray from which they farmed and a house in Greeley where Bill and Sylvia started their retirement. They later moved to the Parker area, building a house in 2010 to be close to their grandchildren and another for his daughter and son-in-law in Parker. His craftsmanship was exquisite, and he took great pride in his work. He did things right.
Bill’s family was central to his life, and he cherished each moment he could spend with them. He adored his children, grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Bill was deeply spiritual, believing in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His steady guiding hand and presence will be missed, and his spirit and love will live forever.
Services will be held at Allnutt Funeral Service located at 6521 West 20th Street, Greeley, CO on Friday, December 23rd. The Public Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, with the funeral service starting at 11:30. All in attendance will be invited to a reception following funeral proceedings. A private graveside service will held at a later date.
Memorials can be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, New York, NY.