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Neil Hergesheimer

December 3, 2012

I was born in a small farmhouse in Cedonia, Washington on July 25, 1922 to Andy and Elsie Hergesheimer. I joined brothers Fay, Gib and a sister Inez. My brothers were not happy the day I was born as they didn’t get to go pick huckleberries with their cousins! My parents farmed and I grew up loving the outdoors and my family. I attended school in Hunters, Washington, graduating in 1940.
I grew up loving horses and riding as soon as I could sit in a saddle. We farmed with horses and I spent many days walking behind a “foot burner” plow and putting up hay. I attended the Cedonia Church.
Growing up it was my job to keep the fences fixed. One such outing during a storm a ball of lightning rolled down the wire fence and struck me. When I came to I had a bad burn on my shoulder but I was lucky. I bought my first car in 1935, a Ford Coupe, cost me $200.
I will always remember the first time I saw this brown-eyed brunette get off the school bus when I was in high school. I said to myself, “I am going to marry that girl someday!” I was one year older than Jean Scott and one week after she graduated from high school in 1942 we were married. We spent the next 70 years together.
Jean and I lived on a small farm that adjoined by my parent’s land when we were first married. We farmed and I worked for the Stevens County Road Department.
In December 1944 our first child, Randy Scott was born. I was thrilled to have a son to teach to hunt and fish. In March 1950, we were blessed with Holly Jeneil, our little girl. Six years later, 1956, we welcomed Jace Kelly in April and on my birthday in 1958 Keith Lynn completed our family.
I was so happy to be able to have climbed the roughest terrain, sleep out in storms and under the stars, led a pack string into a basin in the middle of the night and hunted with my sons and grandsons. Some of my greatest hunt¬ing memories were watching Jace and Keith bag an elk, a mule buck, a goat or an antelope. Randy, Jace and Keith shared my love of the outdoors and wildlife. The love of hunting and outdoors was passed on to my grandsons and great grandsons and to my last days I truly enjoyed listen¬ing to their hunting stories.
Holly was my “darlin”, learning to ride horses at a very young age and was soon a competitor in equestrian, 4-H and local bar¬rel racing competitions. One of my proudest “Dad” moments was when she was crowned Colville Ro¬deo Queen in 1966.
Tragedy struck our family when our first-born son Randy lost his life in the line of duty working for the Montana Bureau of Investigation in February, 1980. Our lives were forever changed after that tragic day. I would tell you I had the very best of life in my 90 years, with the exception of losing Randy.
I retired from the Stevens County Road Department in 1987 and enjoyed every minute of retirement. Jean and I created “Hergy’s Horseshoe Art,” various western items, all made from horseshoes. We traveled throughout Wash¬ington, Idaho and Montana to craft shows and met many wonderful people.
Jean and I moved to Colville in 2007 from Cedonia where we lived for 36 years on a beautiful place by the creek. My last five years were spent on Hotchkiss Road outside of Colville. In March, 2012 we moved together to Parkview Retirement Community. Because of my failing health, on August 20, 2012, I had to move to Buena Vista Nursing Home. That is where I spent my final days.
First and foremost, I loved my wife Jean. She was my best friend, wonderful mother to our children, and strength throughout my entire life. Her beautiful brown eyes made me smile to the very end of my days. My legacy includes my loving wife Jean, Randy (1944-1980); Holly Thomp¬son and husband Doug, Colville; Jace and wife Lu, Colville; Keith and wife Linda, Kennewick. My grand¬children are Ronda and Andy Harbolt, Wende and Jeff Holmes, Scott and Jan Hergesheimer, Andy and Sadie Hergesheimer, Emily and Adam Lattin and Jacob Herge¬sheimer. My great-grandchildren are Randy Harbolt and Haley Thayer, Hailey and Reilly Harbolt, Cody and Brysen Holmes and Trace and Nick Hergesheimer.
I saddled up the morning of Nov. 21 and looked toward the sky. I knew today was the day that I was going to say “goodbye.” With my wonderful family by my side, love in their hearts and tears at times, I took my last breath and began my last trail ride.
The air is crisp, the sky is blue, my horse and me, just us two, my horse and I, the journey begins. So clear, so peaceful, in the distance I know I can see heaven, my son Randy is there waiting for me.
My brothers, sister and parents you see, what a beautiful re¬union this will be. My horse, my family…God has so blessed me.
At my request, a private family gathering was held. Long live cowboys.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory has been en¬trusted with the arrangements.

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