A LaPorte family is grieving the loss of their hero. Our beloved husband, dad, grandpa & great-grandpa, Carl Lee, left us on March 3, 2015. He was born Dec. 1, 1936, in Sturgis, S.D., to Bud and Margaret Lee. The family moved to Fraser for a short time until Carl’s dad bought the 600 Ranch in Stove Prairie in 1943, where they raised cattle and operated a sawmill.
Growing up, Carl had adventures with his brother Dean that most boys only dream about. He graduated from Cache La Poudre High School in 1955, and joined the Navy the following year — realizing after three days that he had made a mistake. On Sept. 8, 1958, he married Eloise Williams and they shared a wonderful journey for 56 years.
Carl worked hard from a young age, skidding logs down the mountain behind a horse to the sawmill and off-bearing the sawed lumber. Over the years, he held various jobs such as being head herdsman at American Breeders Service. He took over the family ranch in 1977 from his dad and operated it for 14 years until it sold in 1993.
Carl had a special connection with horses, livestock and children. He was one of the best horsemen God ever created and was often referred to as the last of the real cowboys. After losing most of his sight and riding a horse was no longer possible, he bought a colt named “Little Bit” and broke him to pull wagons that he built. The two of them were often seen throughout the LaPorte and Bellvue areas.
Carl is survived by his loving wife, Eloise; daughters Lorri (Pat) McGregor, Debbi (Denny) Hodgson and Cindi Lee, all of this area. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, Cody McGregor, Amanda Davis, Tyler, Chad, Austin and Tate Hodgson, and Cassie and Claire Pfeifer; 10 great-grandchildren; one brother, Billy Lee; and countless friends who loved and respected him. Preceding him in death were his parents and brother Dean.
He most loved breaking his colts, riding out to check his cattle in the mountains, elk hunting, road trips he and Eloise took throughout the United States, family, friends and a good cold beer.
This amazing man set the standards for hard work, honesty and love so high that most men cannot even imagine achieving what he was. He never knew a stranger and would do anything for anyone in need. So very, very many friends loved Carl. In his last few weeks he often said, “Well, it’s been a good ride!”
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice. A Memorial Service was held March 9 at Wellington Community Church and was followed by a celebration of our hero at the American Legion at 2124 CR 54G.