John Arthur Radcliff, 81, departed this earth peacefully on December 4, 2012 at his home in Newcastle, WY.
John was born near Gordon. on the farm of his grandparents, John and Zerelda Kearns, on May 27, 1931. He spent his early childhood in Cheyenne with his mother, stepfather, sister and step brother.
While John was growing up he and his sister spent many happy summers with their grandparents. As he grew up he worked for his aunt and uncle, Mary and James Sandoz. He also worked for his uncle Paul Kearns and his wife Dode in the Nebraska Sand Hills. He was living with them when he decided to join the U.S. Army in 1952. He served honorably from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean War.
In 1954 he married Marilyn Jensen. John continued to work for his uncle for a short time after they married. He loved ranch life and enjoyed his work. He appreciated the beauty and serenity of being surrounded by nature and taught his daughters to love it also. Even as he temporarily left the area, his heart remained there.
After their first child, Rhonda was born they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. Cindy and Judy were born there. In the ten year period they spent there John worked at Forney Industries and Ideal Cement Company. At Forney he had the opportunity to develop his artistic welding skills as well as repair work which served him well in later life. He still yearned for the Sand Hills and when the opportunity came up he again began ranching and the girls grew up and graduated from Gordon High School. Quite capable young women, they were soon involved in their own lives; off to college or marrying.
Marilyn and John retired for a time and traveled, visiting parts of the United States in warmer climates and eventually settled in Farmington, N.M.
John went back to work at Halburton Industries and later retired from the Farmington School District in 1995. John and Marilyn then moved to Upton, Wyo. to be nearer their daughters and their grandchildren.
Marilyn moved to Spearfish and John moved to Newcastle in 2002 where he spent his remaining years.
John is survived by his daughter Hailey Ellingham, Cheyenne Wyo.; Cindy (Neal) Lein, Casper, Wyo.; Judy (Andy) Keller, Upton, Wyo. ; his ex wife, Marilyn Radcliff, Spearfish, SD; six grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; mother, Bernadine Irene Kearns – Hutton –Radcliff; his biological father Byrum Hutton; his step father, John William Radcliff; sister Lorraine Sinton Hagar and step brother John W. Radcliff; two uncles and their wives who were a very special part of his life as were his grandparents.
Respecting his wishes there will be no services at this time. A cremation has taken place.
A family service will be held on May 25, 2013 at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, SD.
A memorial has been set up to benefit the Weston County Senior Services at 627 Pine Street in Newcastle, WY 82701.
Black Hills Funeral Home and Cremation Services are in charge of arrangements.