Sinclair, Jerry William

Written by ECA Review


Jerry William Sinclair was born on Sept. 6, 1947 at the Beulah Home in Edmonton, Alta. 

At six weeks of age, he was adopted by Cecil and Mildred Sinclair, then taken to his new loving home on the family farm in the Marwayne area. 

Two years later, his wonderful parents would also adopt a girl, Leotta, or ‘Sis’ as Jerry would always call her. 

Jerry would complete school in Marwayne to Grade 10 and later they would move to Lloydminster and then to Paradise Hill, Sask. for several years. 

From when he can remember, Jerry always wanted to be a cowboy. 

He received his first horse for his sixth birthday, ‘Old Sparky’. 

They lived six miles from the Lea Park rodeo grounds and on Sundays he would ride up and watch rough stock practice. 

At 19, he had the opportunity to start getting on if there was a bucking horse left over. 

He was hooked at that point and knew what he wanted to do. 

As they say, ‘the rest is history’. 

A rodeo career that would span 17 years, with numerous accolades. 

1970 was a year beyond his wildest dreams, setting a record that still stands and cannot be broken by winning Rookie of the Year, the High Point Permit Award, the North American Saddle Bronc title at the Calgary Stampede and his first Canadian Championship. 

Jerry won a second Canadian Championship in 1973, as well as the Southern Circuit Championship that year. 

He was also a qualifier at the first-ever CFR in Edmonton in 1974. 

His rodeo career was capped off in 2008 when he was proudly inducted into the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame. 

Over the years Jerry did almost every other job rodeo has to offer as well, from flanking to pick up man, judge, board member and committee member, instructor, and livestock hauler. 

At home, he cowboyed by raising and training Quarter horses. 

His trucking career was also something to be proud of. 

It was at age 19 as well, when he got his Class 1 driver’s licence, which he held to age 70 – accident-free. 

1972 is when this talent really became an additional career. 

Jerry hauled everything from varied livestock to groceries, and from milk to logs and pipeline equipment. 

He drove truck from Vancouver on our west coast to PEI on the east coast, and on the winter roads of Inuvik, NWT all the way south to Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexico border. 

The 1970s were also when Jerry was becoming a husband and a father. After marrying Marie VanMetre, Jerry’s first son Lee was born in 1971, followed by daughter Lana, in 1973. 

That marriage ended and in 1974 Jerry met Lana Bowers, and her four-year-old daughter, Tana. 

In 1976, Jerry and Lana’s son Keenan was born. 

Jerry and Lana married in May 1977, spending 46 years together in total. 

They have been blessed with nine grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

A graduate of the Dale Carnegie course, at 40 years of age Jerry also attended Fairview College, receiving his diploma in Equine Management. 

This education, along with his excellent skills as a horseman and cowhand, garnered him a contract with the College to teach a Horsemanship Clinic for the White Bear band in Saskatchewan. 

All of these skills were put to use over the years in numerous volunteer positions, as Jerry sat on the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) Board of Directors, held the elected union position of Job Steward and Negotiating Committee member to CLAC and for two years hosted and did colour commentary with Dianne Finstad on rodeo telecasts for CKRD-TV. 

He also served as vice-chair for many years on the Red Deer Silver Buckle Rodeo Committee, and more recently was an original board member as well as Arena Director for the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede. 

For 10 years, until just months before his passing, Jerry volunteered on the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association where his experience and passion for rodeo, and extensive book knowledge, made him an excellent candidate as their rodeo historian. 

After living south of Sylvan Lake and on acreages east of Red Deer, 2001 found Jerry and Lana purchasing an acreage just northwest of Stettler and proceeding to build it up together into their dream. 

That place was their project and their haven, with countless good times with their horses, friends, neighbours and family. 

Jerry is survived by his loving wife Lana; mother Mildred; children Tana (Kent) Nixon and children Joshua, Brittany (and her children Lydia and Kayden), Ian and Logan; Lee (Heather) Sinclair and children Dakoda, Teal, Cooper, Isaac, Emilia and August; Lana Sinclair (Bob Edelman) and children Jayden, Denver and Austin; Keenan (Shannon) Sinclair and children Chelsea and Kaelin as well as other family members and dear friends. 

Jerry was predeceased by his dad Cecil and sister Leotta Sinclair. 

Jerry took his last inevitable ride on April 28, 2020 at the age of 72. 

Bone cancer took him from us too soon, but he fought that tough bronc at their home, under Lana’s love and care, until his last 10 days in palliative care at the Stettler Hospital. 

A funeral service was held on Fri., Aug. 21, 2020 at Stettler Funeral Home, Stettler, Alta. 

Memorial contributions may be to the Steel Wheel Stampede. 

Condolences can be sent to the family at Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. 403-742-3422.

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