Tracy was born May 21, 1925, at Farrall, Wyoming, in the home of his parents, Merton and Ella (Truax) Ellsbury. He grew up on the family ranch, attending a country school nearby. After graduating from Spearfish High School in 1943, he worked briefly on the ranch until joining the Army.
Eager to help fight for his country, he proudly served in the Pacific Campaign during and after World War II, earning the rank of sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home to the family ranch.
Sixty-five years later, his son, David, accompanied him and a plane-full of other World War II Veterans to Washington, D.C., for “Honor Flight Wyoming”. At the World War II Memorial, they were recognized by given appreciation from our Governor, Senators, Representatives and citizens. Tracy was truly a proud member of the “Greatest Generation.”
In 1948, he began a courtship with the love of his life, Margaret Kokesh. They wed in 1950 at her family’s ranch. They moved into their home of 63 years on the Ellsbury Ranch and began their ranching career. To their union two sons were born, Norman in 1956 and David in 1959.
Tracy was very active in the community, serving on the Soil Conservation Board, Bearlodge Livestock Association, Crook County Library Board, Crook County Farm Bureau, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
He enjoyed pitching horseshoes and bowling with his friends. One of his proudest moments was bowling a “near perfect” 298. He amassed an extensive collection of trophies from both activities.
He enjoyed traveling the country and taking a different route home. Most recently, though, his proudest moments were with his four grandchildren and his two great-grandsons.
Tracy is survived by his wife, Margaret, Sundance; his son, David and wife, Beth of Sundance; grandsons, Levi and wife, Kara of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Morgan and his girlfriend, Jenna of Sundance, Colter and his wife Sarah along with their children Lyman and Ridley of Sundance; his only granddaughter, Whitney and her fiancé, Jeff Stull of Casper, Wyoming. He was especially fond of his 52 nieces and nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Wendell, Lyman and Conrad; three sisters, Nettie, Juanita and Gail; and his oldest son, Norman.
Funeral services were Monday, March 4, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Spearfish, South Dakota. Full military honor services were at Black Hills National Cemetery.
Through extraordinary efforts of family and friends, along with home health care, and lately with Home Hospice care, Tracy was able to spend his remaining time at home amongst his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be given in Tracy’s honor to Treasured Memories Hospice, for the continuing care of others.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels & Crematory Services, Spearfish, SD. Online condolences may be written to www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com