MESA, Ariz. -- Dale Wickizer, 71, died Aug. 19, 2009, due to complications from a stroke suffered earlier this year.
He was born in Benkelman and graduated from Stratton High School in 1955.
He entered professional rodeo as a bull rider and when he could no longer ride, he became a barrelman. His rodeo clown days began in Mesquite, Texas, where he worked for Neal Gay and continued after he went to work for Jim Shoulders. He also drove truck and worked in other rodeo-related endeavors while working for Shoulders. He occasionally worked for Jiggs Butler, rodeo producer, was a Gold-card member of PRCA, attended rodeo clown reunions, national finals and various cowboy reunions.
Eventually he moved to Arizona where he lived for 40 years, working as a construction contractor.
On Dec. 9, 1994, he married Paula.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Bonnie Wickizer; and two brothers, Dickie and Jackie Wickizer.
Survivors include his wife, Paula, four step-children; three sisters, Barb and husband, Frank Gradt of Alamagordo, N.M., Janice Edgell of Wauneta, and Ronda and husband, Daryl Richards of Fort Collins, Colo.; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials can be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, Attn: Cindy Schonholts, 101 Pro Rodeo Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80919, or the charity of the donor's choice.