Wyoming Loses Longtime Cattle Industry Leader


Charles “Chas” Kane, 83, of Sheridan, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2015, at the Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

Chas, a lifetime Sheridan County resident, made ranching his way of life, just as his father and grandfather had done. Born to Charles H. and Lily McCarty Kane on January 21, 1932, Chas graduated Sheridan High School in 1950 and married Arlene Schmitz on May 22, 1951. Together they raised five children on the ranch, four sons and one daughter. Chas was only 34 years old when his father passed away and he had to take full responsibility of the ranch.

While attending Wolf School, a small country school on the ranch, Chas and his brother rode their horses to and from school. Starting at a very early age, Chas enjoyed roping and found the time to participate in local events. At the age of 13, Chas, along with his younger brother Ken, won the team roping event at the PK rodeo, a professional rodeo. He continually enjoyed the sport and roped in the annual Sheridan County Rodeo.

Chas always had a passion for good cattle and horses. He was proud of the fact that he raised most of the horses that were used on the ranch and his cattle were the best in the county.

Chas was very active in agriculture and has served on many boards and in many organizations. He was appointed to the first Beef Council by Governor Hathaway in 1971, and served from 1971 to 1976. He served two terms on the Wyoming Livestock Board: 1980-1983 and 1995-2001. Chas was an active member in the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and served as its 37th President, from 1983-1985. He was also on the Public Lands Council, serving as President 1988-1989. He was member of the National Cattlemen Beef Association.

On the local level, Chas was a member of the Big Horn Cattlemen’s Association, and was a long time President, from 1978 to the present. In the community, Chas was on the local Wolf School Board for 34 years until the school closed in 1973, and also served on the Community First Bank Advisory Board of Directors. He was lifetime member of Holy Name Catholic Church.

Chas was a 4-H member in his youth and has remained a supporter of 4-H while his kids and grandkids were involved. For many years, he could be found in the sale ring taking bids during the annual 4-H and FFA Livestock Sale at the conclusion of the Sheridan County Fair. He has been recognized as a “Partner in 4-H” for his ongoing involvement. Chas and Arlene showed their support for all kinds of grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s activities.

In 1997, Chas received the “Top Hand Award” from the Museum of the American Cowboy. He was recently selected as an inductee into the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Chas was most at ease when he was on his horse, moving or working cattle. He especially enjoyed that time spent with his children and grandchildren. He loved to share stories and tell a good joke. For those who knew Chas, they knew that if he’s giving you a hard time, he likes you. And he has taught his grandkids well, because they gave it right back to him.

Chas saw many changes to the agricultural industry in his lifetime, from haying with horses and big crews to the machinery of today. He dedicated his entire life to ranching and was always willing to offer advice to anyone who wanted to learn. He would gladly share his opinion on matters relating to agriculture as he lived his whole life with a profound passion for his family, his horses, his cattle and the resources that provide for them.

Chas is survived by his wife of 64 years, Arlene, and his five children: Phil (Ranelle) of Wolf, John (Janice) of Sheridan, Mike (Carol) Kane of Wolf, David (Terri) of Sheridan and Lisa (Kelly) of Laramie, 15 grandchildren: Katie (Greg) Keeley, Kevin (Kristen) Kane, Jason (Michelle) Kane, Troy (Sharon) Kane, Charlie Kane, Adam Kane, Tom Kane, Tyler Kane, Jade (Jessica) Kane, Ryan Kane, Nate Kane, Kari (Brent) Kilmer, Meagan (Eric) Higbee, C.J. (Danielle) Cole, Tucker Cole, as well as 13 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Gigi (Don) Hendrickson. He was preceeded in death by his parents, brother, Ken Kane, and his sister Karolyn Gainan.

A Visitation will be held at 6:00 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 8, 2015, at Kane Funeral Home. Mass of the Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at Holy Name Church with Father Jim Heiser and Father Ron Stolcis co-officiating. Burial will be in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery. A reception will follow at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds.

Memorials to honor Chas may be made to Holy Name School at 121 S. Connor, Sheridan, WY 82801, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association at P.O. 206, Cheyenne, WY 82003, or to the Sheridan Senior Center at 211 Smith St., Sheridan, WY.

Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.

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