September 14, 1941
Born at home west of Sutherland, NE, on September 14, 1941, G.V. was one of ten children born to Jack and Jessica Thompson. Jack was a school teacher and athletic director turned dairy farmer while Jessica was a student pilot turned homemaker and mother.
G.V.’s first and only career ambition was to become a veterinarian; he has often stated what a blessing it was to always know his goal. He achieved that goal in a timely manner by pursuing college in Lincoln, NE, right after high school and then on to Ames, Iowa to complete his schooling. G.V. didn’t leave the sandhills entirely while he was attending college, in fact, the sandhills facilitated his ambitions by providing him with work at his brother’s (Bill Thompson) ranch in between semesters so he could afford to graduate on schedule in 1965. G.V. married his wife Julie in 1963 and she was his partner in all things for the next 53 years. G.V. returned to Lincoln County in 1965. He joined Dr. Kreycek’s practice, however Dr. Kreycek soon retired and G.V. began his own practice – Stockman’s Vet Clinic. Stockman’s Vet Clinic began as a one vet, one wife/office manager/vet assistant practice, and in 50 years has evolved to a thriving, modern practice with five veterinarians and multiple support staff members.
Jerry Ray, G.V.’s first son, was born in 1965 while still in Ames, Iowa. His one daughter, Jodi, was born in North Platte in 1967 along with his second son, Justin, born in 1975. All three children remain in North Platte with their families.
G.V.’s passion for the Nebraska Sandhills is evident within moments of most any conversation. Years of refining his expertise of cattle herd management has worked hand-in-hand with his goal to preserve the pristine grasslands of the sandhills. The most intriguing element of his passion is how he transfers the importance of this link to those around him. He can travel through the hills from ranch to ranch never tiring of sharing stories of the land, characters, families, generations, epidemics, livestock, droughts, achievements, rivers and lakes, trees and grasses, all the animals and much more. By living with the understanding all things are connected to this land he loves; he emulates the enduring nature of the Nebraska Sandhills and those who are determined to preserve it.
It is not only the actual land and animals he cultivates, it is also the people and events. He has long been a pillar of the entertainment side of the western culture. G.V. was an active member of the Monty Montana Wild West shows in the 1970’s, an active board member and board President of the Lincoln County Agricultural Society in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In conjunction with fellow horsemen, and also in the 1980’s, G.V. formed the Nebraskaland Horse Association, still active today. He was nominated and received the KNOP-TV Hometown Hero award for his dedication to his clients. G.V. and Julie were long time, regular attendees to all rodeos in the area, often showing up at ”slack” with home cooked food and offers of sleeping quarters to cowboys. G.V. officially joined the Buffalo Bill Rodeo Committee in 2002 after unofficially overseeing the livestock during NEBRASKAland Days for many years.
In 2005, G.V.’s brother Bill lost a battle to cancer. G.V., in partnership with his son, Justin, and another brother, Frank, bought a portion of Bill’s ranch west of Tryon and became the proud proprietors of prime Nebraska Sandhills. Today, he continues cultivating the pure Angus herd Bill nurtured with help from the famous Thompson Contender Bull.
In 2017 at age of 75 years, G.V.’s passion is traveling the Sandhills and most days he still heads to those Sandhills to attend to livestock, cattle or horses or if he is real lucky, buffalo.