William Gerald (Jerry) O’Kief, 81

William Gerald (Jerry) O’Kief passed away on Sunday, July 15, 2018. A brilliant attorney, successful rancher and loving husband, brother, father and grandfather, Jerry was a credit to the Nebraska Sandhills that he loved, to Creighton University and to humanity.

Born during the Great Depression and educated in a one-room schoolhouse, he left for Creighton, where he was President of the Student Board of Governors, first in his law school class and recipient of the Spirit of Creighton - the highest award the University bestows on a student.

Following Creighton, Jerry moved to Boston where he received a Master of Laws at Harvard, then promptly returned to the Sandhills where he practiced law in Valentine and ranched for over 50 years. During those years he partnered with his brother, Jim O’Kief, to expand the family cow-calf operation. They were wonderful cattlemen and conservationists, winning multiple conservationist awards. And they were best friends, speaking every day for their entire adult lives.

Jerry was married to his beloved wife Sharon, originally of Omaha, for 52 years. Together they had four children, Greg, Mary and twins John and Joe, as well as 8 grandchildren thus far. Jerry was a man of great humility, integrity and faith. May he rest in peace after a life well lived.

Jerry is preceded in death by his son, Joe O’Kief; father and mother, Bill and Alice O’Kief; and brother, John O’Kief.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon; brother, Jim (Rita) O’Kief of Wood Lake; sons, Greg (Jennay) O’Kief of Omaha, NE, and John (Stacey) O’Kief of Garland, NE; daughter, Mary O’Kief Dittrich (Bill Dittrich) of Boise, ID; and multiple grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, July 20th at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Valentine. Burial followed at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Valentine. Funeral arrangements through Sandoz Chapel of the Pines funeral home in Valentine, NE: http://www.sandozfuneralhome.com.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

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