July 9, 1930 – May 19, 2017
Bernard Sheets was a Nebraska Cowboy his whole life. He was born in Arnold, Nebraska on July 9, 1930. At an early age, the family moved to a ranch north of Stapleton, Nebraska where Bernard would begin his lifelong career as a Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy.
When Bernard was 14 years of age he started working for the McGooden Ranch. It was during this time that the McGooden Family started the youth ranch rodeo at Dunning, Nebraska. This youth ranch rodeo takes place on the 4th of July. It was and still is for the young kids growing up on the area ranches.
Bernard married Dora Dean Mathauser in 1954 and to this union 7 children were born. This family, in some capacity, has continued to help with this youth rodeo. Whether it be Dora Dean in the cook shack (where her grandchildren still run to this day) or Bernard providing livestock for the rodeo, they have provided a wonderful opportunity for the area youth. In addition, Bernard, Dora and family have helped with the Blaine County Fair and Rodeo for many years.
He was a member of the Quarter Horse Association, The Angus Association, Blaine County Fair Board, High School Rodeo Director, local school bus driver and the Dunning Fire Department.
Bernard ranched in the area his whole life. He worked as a pick-up man and even as a bullfighter at various Nebraska County Fair Rodeos and Nebraska High School Rodeos. He was a bronc rider, bulldogger and excelled as a roper both in the arena and on the ranch. His love of a black horse is clearly evident. His first and last horse was black.
Bernard has not only lived the cowboy way of life, but he has continually contributed to others with the lessons he has learned along the way.