Nicholas Edward Bohl

 

March 23, 2023



Nicholas Edward Bohl was born in Hot Springs, South Dakota on April 18, 1957 to JoAnn and Daryll. Nick grew up on a farm in Crete, Nebraska.

As a kid, Nick happily accepted any punishment when he knew it was due; otherwise, he demanded a thorough explanation that he had better agree with.

He worked at a vet clinic after school, relishing the rocky mountain oysters and skinny chicken necks he brought home for dinner. Even after breaking his back racing dirt bikes, he showed up in a body cast ready to lend a hand.

Unlike most of his siblings who pursued professions in engineering, medicine, education and law, Nick was a die-hard rancher from day one.He started his career as a hired man and was generally successful, with the exception of a gig in Ekalaka, Montana; though the manager's wife was flattered by his enormous appetite, they eventually let Nick go since feeding him over a dozen eggs every morning for his first breakfast simply cost too much.

Nick eventually came to manage the 30,000-acre F.A. Bush ranch outside of Hulett, Wyoming, accompanied by his first wife Echo and three daughters Brandy, Nikki and Trinity. Though most ranchers would have lamented the absence of stout sons, Nick instead embraced his girls and simply taught them to work harder than their male counterparts.

Despite a lack of formal education, Nick approached his work with uncommon academic rigor, documenting a variety of holistic management techniques in an effort to improve ranch productivity. He was also active on the Conservation District Board.

Nick eventually purchased the New Haven Ranch outside of Hulett where he ran cattle and had a hunting and guest ranch operation, which he started with his second wife Heike and continued with his third wife Doerte, both originally from Germany. Doerte's communication skills and European connections attracted countless guests and workers to New Haven year after year

Nick's life was punctuated by impressive achievements and painful losses; few men rise from nothing to own a productive ranch, nor lose a child tending sheep. Throughout these ups and downs, Nick was always the consummate cowboy: stoic, bull headed, loving and direct to a fault.

He fought the brain cancer that eventually took his life with similar resolve; the doctors at the Mayo Clinic weren't sure if it was Nick's attitude or his refusal to engage in traditional treatments that prolonged his life, but they all agreed that he lived longer than any patient they ever saw.

Following a seizure induced by his brain cancer, Nick passed away in Spearfish, South Dakota on March 13, 2023 with his wife Doerte by his side. He is survived by his mother JoAnn; wife Doerte; daughters Nikki and Brandy; four siblings; and six grandchildren.

Nick's ashes were spread at the New Haven Ranch during a private ceremony. 

A memorial service was held at the New Haven Community Center followed by a potluck where Nick's family, friends, neighbors and enemies were welcome to praise or complain about Nick as much as they liked.

 
 

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