Dan Eddleman obituary | Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary
One wonders how some people do what they do. Dan Eddleman is one of those people. He was lucky to be born a cowboy with a sense of the horse like few others. He was on the cover of the 10th anniversary edition of the Quarter Horse Journal when he was just 5 years old. Part of that gift was passed down through her mother Jimmie Lue and her dad, Warren Shoemaker, but part was of her own will. Although it sometimes borders on narcissism, he never doubted in his mind that he could do whatever he set out to do.
People sometimes look at a person like Dan and think he was privileged. What they don’t understand is that he worked harder, longer and smarter than almost anyone to achieve the success he knew. And, as hard as he could work, he could play. When Dan was funny, the laughter made everyone around him cry. From “Snake on the Plane” with Chris Lybert to “Clear” Monkey on the Las Vegas Strip, Dan was part of an elite group of cowboys, along with his cousin Arlen, who played as hard as they rodeo.
When the family ranch was seized by the bank, Dan was the force behind getting it back. When the bank told him no to a loan, he drove to Billings every day and sat outside the loan officer‘s desk for weeks. A rational person would have given up. Not Dan. Tenacity? Stubbornness? Sure. But there was more. This banker could see that he would never give up, and that is a rare quality. When he got the Oarlock back, he knew this couldn’t be the end. With hard work and Copenhagen rolls and huge cups of iced tea, he would conquer the West. And he did.
From the Oarlock and Tongue River ranches in Montana, to the Matador and other ranches in Texas, to the Slash D and Pine River ranches in Oregon, to the Monster Lake Ranch in Wyoming, he and his beautiful family – Sandy, his mom Jimmie Lue and finally the joy of her life, Mattie Lue – have worked, built and sold some of the most beautiful places on the planet. He was said to buy and sell ranches like most cowboys buy and sell horses. Was it easy? Absolutely not, but it was in his blood to make the next deal.
Dan went on the rides with the movers in the industry, but he was probably more comfortable with a grizzled old cowboy who was out of luck. He was sometimes a walking contradiction. He was used to befriending scoundrels, and he could take the best hand ever and possibly scare them away, while leaving a good-for-nothing left. Why? No one knows, but it was probably because beneath the gruff tuff exterior, there was a heart that loved an underdog.
A four wheeler got the better of him in Monster Lake and things started to change. The injuries were serious and he never fully recovered. Was it hard with him? Yes, and everything around it. But her life has been blessed with her beautiful daughter Mattie and her new beau, Nash. He saw them working harder than himself to build their own lives. The joy he felt when they brought their love to Bliss Camp at the Oarlock to be married he may not have been able to express, but that final dance will live on in his memory and in ours. hearts forever.
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