Jimmie Lee Epke, 84

Jimmie Lee Epke was born on September 28, 1935 in Valentine, NE to John and Edith Epke. He attended grade school at Rock School North of Crookston and graduated from Crookston High School in 1953. He served in the Korean war from 1953 – 1955. Upon his Honorable Discharge, Jim moved back to the family farm North of Crookston where he worked with his brothers Dean and Robert. In 1958 Jim purchased his first place by Rosebud where he began ranching on his own. Also In 1958 he married Lilly May Hauger. To this union two children were born, Sam and Joni.

In 1965 Jim purchased his 2nd ranch where he and his family lived until he retired. During retirement, Jim lived at several places in or near Valentine. As his health declined, he lived in Care Facilities until his death.

Jim’s life revolved around working with his brothers, whether it be haying, working cattle, sharing equipment and workforce (all 6 kids). The Epke family did most everything together, sharing holidays, birthdays, camping trips, fishing, and lots of card games.

Jim was a man of integrity and honesty. He was a quiet man who was loyal, generous, caring, hardworking, and one of the most dependable neighbors always willing to help. He was well respected and known for the quality of cattle that he bought and sold. Jim especially enjoyed working cattle on horseback.

Jim loved his cattle, horses, and dogs. He enjoyed a good game of pitch, drinking coffee and visiting with his friends and neighbors. He loved his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and was especially close to his sisters-in-laws, Betty Lou and Delores Epke.

One of his favorite pass times was driving around looking at cattle and countryside. His favorite conversations consisted of cattle and ranching.

Some of Jim’s special interests were antique cars, trucks, tractors. He enjoyed watching the KC Royals, Huskers, and his grandsons Rodeos when they were close to Valentine. He was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church, a Cherry Todd Electric Board of Director, and a member of the VFW.

He is survived by Sam Epke, Anchorage, AK, Joni Jorgenson (Dustin), Hershey, NE, Grandchildren Tucker White, Wichita, KS, Cooper White, Hershey, NE, Allie and Jenna Epke, both of Tacoma WA.

Graveside Service was held on Friday, November 22 at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Valentine. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of service arrangements.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

921 E. 4th St.
P.O. Box 145
Ainsworth, NE 69210
PH: (402) 387-2844
FAX: (402) 387-1234

Valentine Midland News

146 W. 2nd St.
P.O. Box 448
Valentine, NE 69201
PH: (402) 376-2833
FAX: (402) 376-1946

Gregory Times-Advocate

119 E. 7th St.
P.O. Box 378
Gregory, SD 57533
PH: (605) 835-8089
FAX: (605) 835-8467