The Fence Post obituary; Merle Francis Jackson | TheFencePost.com

The Fence Post obituary; Merle Francis Jackson

Merle Francis Jackson, 75

March 8, 1942 – Jan. 16, 2018

Holyoke, Colo.

Merle Francis Jackson of Holyoke passed away on Jan. 16, 2018, at the age of 75.

Merle was born in Haxtun, Colo., on March 8, 1942, to Henry Merle and Florence Marie (Johnson) Jackson.

Growing up on the family farm east of Holyoke, Merle discovered his passion for horses and cattle, a passion that would follow him through the entirety of his days. He rode his first pony before the age of 5. At age 9, he joined the Better Beef Makers 4-H club and showed many champion steers at county fairs, state fairs and national livestock shows. He continued raising cattle with an emphasis on 4-H steers and was never without a horse until his death.

In high school, Merle's passion led him to rodeoing. By his junior year, he was an accomplished bareback bronco rider and bull rider. After graduating from Holyoke, his journey took him to Colorado State University as a member of the rodeo team.

When there was no rodeo to attend, Merle could be found with friends who owned race horses in Brush, Colo. As a young man, he left Holyoke in 1963 and enjoyed a brief career training cutting horses in Kansas, Illinois and Nebraska before returning to Holyoke.

His passion for horses and cattle came second only to his love for family and his grandchildren. He took great pride in visiting his grandchildren and attending their school events. When he was able to combine a family visit with a rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, steer wrestling finals or the Kentucky Derby that was, in Merle's words, "a pretty neat deal."

Merle is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Florence. He is survived by six daughters, Wesley Lane, Terri (Ken) Todd and Tracy Burnett, all of Houston. Daughters, Kelly Phillips of Fort Worth, Dawn (Michael) Worley of Evanston, Wyo., Deah Falkner of Omaha, Neb. He is also survived by his sister, Willa (Charles) DeCastro of Wichita, Kan., 10 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, one niece and two nephews.

A service was held Jan. 27 at Baucke Funeral Home in Holyoke. A private ceremony followed.