I went to Stan Weatherly’s memorial service last night at the Stettler Agriplex. I arrived early (5 pm) and met up with a bus packing a load of Saskatchewan cowboys; Lee Bellows, Tom Reardon, Dale Claypool and Kelly Brice just to name a few and I’m sure they were happy to arrive – some so they could celebrate their big wins in the ongoing crib game onboard, others to lick their wounds from the ongoing crib game onboard.
What a tremendous service the Weatherly’s organized – Stan would have loved it. Held in the outdoor arena, it was standing room only as 18 (or more) mounted honour guards and Stan’s daughter, Donna, led in Stan’s saddled horse (a gorgeous grey) with Stan’s cowboy boots turned backwards in the stirrups. There was music from the Genuine Cowgirls (Lynda Thurston, Robyn Armstrong & Lori Gordon) and tributes from Larry Scheerschmidt, Winston Bruce and Mary Jane Poitrowski, and the Master of Ceremonies, Doug Young also did a great tribute. At the end, Kirk Buffalo and a tremendous Ojibwa singer (now from Hobbema) sang and drummed Send the Spirit Home. The service was sometimes touching, sometimes humorous and we all knew we were lucky to have known Stan.
Afterwards, we gathered in the big hall for a meal and it was a great gathering of World Champions, Canadian Champions, stock contractors, competitors, past competitors, future competitors and the men, women and kids who work behind the chutes. It was a fitting tribute to a man who helped so many and whose greatest joy in his life was his family and his horses.
Our deepest sympathies to his wife Elda, daughters Donna and Diane (Bob) Prospero, son Warren (Heather) and his many grandchildren and extended family. Stan Weatherly was a great man and a friend to me.