MESA, Ariz. — Jack Arnold DeWerff, 90, died Sept. 17, 2015, at his home in Mesa, Ariz. Born Nov. 16, 1924, in Ellinwood, he was the son of Hattie and John DeWerff. He was a lifelong resident of Ellinwood, before moving to Mesa, Ariz. eight years ago. On April 8, 1955, he married Loretta Tedford in Minneola. He was a farmer, rancher, and a working cowboy all of his life and also worked for the Kansas Animal Health Department for 20 years, serving livestock producers in 30 counties in southwest Kansas. He was also an accomplished rodeo team roper, with his best friend Gene. He enjoyed woodworking and playing his guitar at gatherings with friends and family.
Jack was best known as a cowboy poet and philosopher, inspired by his many experiences as a rancher, cowboy, and rodeo contestant. He performed his work at numerous poetry gatherings throughout Kansas and the western region of the United States. He published several books and audio recordings of his poetry, and several newspapers also published his work, including the New York Times.
Jack was an active member of the Gold Canyon Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Ariz. He was a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Ellinwood. He was also a member of the Pueblo Grande Park Association, previously serving as president.
Jack is survived by his cowboy sweetheart, wife Loretta of 60 years. He is also survived by a host of extended family and friends, including his “adopted” family of the Pueblo Grande Park. He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Chester DeWerff, Harold DeWerff, Ruby Schrader, Mildred Krueger, Lucille Hildebrand and Gertrude Schuefler.
A memorial service and celebration of Jack’s life will be scheduled at a later date in both Mesa, Ariz. and Ellinwood. Condolences may be sent to Loretta DeWerff, 520 South Higley Road, Room 147, Mesa, AZ 85206.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 24, 2015**