The Fence Post obituary: Charles “Buck” Jacob Wilson
Charles “Buck” Jacob Wilson, 92
Dec. 31, 1926 – Oct. 24, 2019
Charles “Buck” Jacob Wilson was born Dec. 31, 1926, on his grandfather’s homestead in Yuma County, Colorado, outside of Wray. He passed from this life less than a hundred yards from where he was born on Oct. 24, 2019, just short of his 93rd birthday. He was born as the third child of James Franklin Wilson and Dorothy Emma Klein. Buck attended the Fairview #70 country school north and west of Wray through eighth grade with his siblings James F. Wilson, Helen Wilson Weaver, Barbara Wilson Childress, William Wilson, David F. Wilson and Kay Wilson Phipps. Another brother Robert died at an early age from tetanus after a horse-riding accident. When he was old enough for high school, Buck attended Wray High School and graduated with the class of 1945.
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After high school Buck worked with his father on the homestead and various neighbors helping provide for the family. During summers his favorite activity was traveling to North Park, near Walden, Colo., to help with haying season and to fish when they couldn’t hay. He was an amazing fisherman throughout his life. No one could ever figure out how he would always be the only one to catch anything.
Buck started dating a neighbor girl, Ida Delia (Dee) Larreau, who ended up being his lifelong love. Buck and Dee were married on June 16, 1956, at St Andrew Catholic Church in Wray. To this union they were blessed with eight daughters and one son. With his father-in law’s help, Buck built a house just southwest of the homestead where he had been born. He only moved once in his 92 years and it was less than 100 yards.
Buck purchased the family homestead in 1965. He developed one of the first irrigation systems in the county and upgraded to a pivot when they became available. Most of the neighbors thought he was crazy for trying to farm in the sand. Along with crops, cattle were a major part of his operation. He proved his innovating spirit by being one of the first to AI, crossbreeding with Maine-Anjou’s and being an original member of the Kitzmiller Grazing Association. He continued to farm and ranch until the early 1990s when he leased the farm to his sons-in-law.
Being a conservationist came naturally for Buck. From a young age he worked to preserve and improve the homestead. He had a lifelong commitment to planting windbreaks and improving the wildlife habitat. He could describe in detail all the deer, pheasants and other wildlife that shared the prairie with him. In 2006, Buck and Dee were honored as Outstanding Cooperators of the Year by the Conservation District for their lifetime commitment to the conservation of natural resources.
Buck was active in the community serving on the Consumers Coop board and the RJ-2 school district board. He spent time serving as a 4-H leader and being active in the Cattlemen’s Association, Farmers Union, and the Fairview and Wauneta communities. Buck was a lifetime member of St Andrew Catholic Church.
Wilson Ranch was recognized in 2007 as a Colorado Centennial Farm and is considered home to Buck and Dee’s large extended family. Every year Buck and Dee hosted a reunion for family to come and reconnect. Nothing gave him more joy than seeing the kids playing in the front yard or the sandbox. His constant smile made all the world seem brighter.
Although a quiet man, Buck was known for his patience, genuineness and openness to all. He always had time to visit with anyone. When Buck’s father died, a local editor described him as being “salt of the earth.” Buck said that was probably the best compliment that a neighbor could give a person. Have no doubt that Buck was also considered “salt of the earth” by all who knew and loved him. His presence was a constant and sustaining part of everyone he touched.
Buck is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Jim, Bill and Robert; sisters Helen and Kay and step-grandson Christopher. Surviving him are his wife Dee,: Brother David (Margaret) of Philadelphia and sister Barbara of Albuquerque and his children including Margaret Lenz (Mike) of Wray, Vivian Graf (Ted) of Casper Wyo., Dorothy Wisdom (Kent) of Fleming Colo., Jerrie Root (Buck) of Douglas Wyo., Becky Lenz (George) of Wray, Tedd Wilson of Fort Collins Colo., Ardith Hendrix (Ray) of Wray, Donna Goodsell Wilson of Greeley, Colo., and Sarah Moore (Scott) of Seward Neb., along with 32 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. His surviving extended family includes several in-laws and numerous nephews and nieces.
A funeral mass for Buck was held on Nov. 2, 2019, at St Andrew Catholic Church in Wray. Interment was at the Wilson Ranch homestead north of Wray. Memorials in Buck’s name may be made to The Hospice of the Plains or the Wauneta Fire Department. Schmidt-Jones Funeral Home in Wray was in charge of arrangements.
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