|Birth: ||Mar. 16, 1945|
|Death: ||Nov. 12, 2000|
Obituary from "The Times Independent"
by Barbara Ekker, Hanksville Correspondent
Memorial services will be held Friday, Nov. 17 in Hanksville at 1 p.m. at the Hanksville LDS Chapel for A. C. Ekker. Ekker died Sunday afternoon enroute to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction aboard Life Flight following a plane crash that morning at Sam's Mesa near his cattle ranch at Robber's Roost in Wayne County.
A. C. and some 20 fellow cowboys were continuing the fall roundup of Ekker's cattle that began over the weekend. A. C. was flying is Cessna 174, searching for cattle across the vast rugged area west of Canyonlands. He was accompanied by Ryan Johnson, 26 and 70-year-old Marje Durrell of Grand Junction. Both are hospitalized at St. Mary's. A rider on the ground who witnessed the crash was among the first on the scene.
A. C. was a symbol of the American Cowboy. He inherited and owned and operated the Robber's Roost Ranch and the Rain Dance Ranch in Hanksville along with his wife, Dr. Glori Allen-Ekker, a physician at Castleview Hospital in Price.
During his life he was in articles in National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Range Magazine and Western Horseman.
A. C. knew the rugged country like the back of his hand as he rode the range with his late parents, Arthur and Hazel Biddlecome Ekker, since his birth. His grandparents, the late Joe and Millie Scarf Biddlecome homesteaded the ranch over 100 years ago. His late great-grandfather, Charles Gibbons, was a friend and employer of famed outlaw Butch Cassidy, along with his gang, who hid out at the Roost and did business with Gibbons at his store in Hanksville. Gibbons was also famous for being the rancher who caught the famed horse "Wildfire" that was made into a book by the same name by Zane Grey in the early 1900s.
A. C. was always a hard-working, hard-riding, ex-rodeo champion who won All-Around Cowboy in the National Intercollegiate Finals held at Dixie College in 1967 representing the University of Utah where he also won scholarships and graduated with a degree in business management. A graduate of Green River High School, he played on the basketball team, headed the Saddle Pals crafting saddles and won "All Around Honors" at Cowboy Days in Green River in 1960. He and his dad operated Outlaw Trails Inc., taking tours and running rivers. A. C. and Ron Smith later began Canyonlands Expeditions, headquartered in Green River. He was a former president of the Eastern Utah Cattlegrowers Association.
He married Beverly Transue in 1968 and moved her and two children, Shawn and Janie, to the Roost House but they were frequently evacuated when missiles from the Green River Missile Base were fired, as the Roost was in the path to the impact area at White Sands, N.M. He married Nancy Session and they had a daughter, Natalie.
A. C. was the subject of many TV documentaries on cow-boying, cattle-raising, his Dutch ancestors, land issues and touring the West. In 1990 the Dutch government sent a film crew to do a documentary on former Netherlanders. A. C.'s ancestors were converts to the Mormon Church and came to America and settled in Hanksville. They purchased a way-station business from Andries Ekker, A.C.'s great-grandfather.
A. C. started an overseas company, Cabalgata Tours, which took him to South America, Africa and New Zealand, but he always returned to his favorite home in Wayne County and his wife, Glori, and ranch life.
He was the youngest of five children of Arthur and Hazel Ekker. Older siblings are Eddyjo, Evelyn (Tiss) Bingham, a retired teacher, and GayeMarie, an ordained minister who will conduct the memorial service on Friday. Issac Emge, a brother, died at birth in 1942. A. C. is also survived by daughter, Janie Marie Stuart and husband, Rob and their daughter, Taylor Marie, born last October; son, Shawn, 30 of Cedar City and Natalie, a teenage daughter in Park City, plus hundreds of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
A. C. requested that he be cremated and his ashes scattered over his home on the range by family members.
Arthur Benjamin Ekker (1911 - 1978)
Hazel Emge Biddlecome Ekker (1910 - 1969)
Isaac Emge Ekker (1942 - 1942)*
A.C. Arthur Cornelius Ekker (1945 - 2000)
GPS (lat/lon): 38.39179, -110.68287
Created by: Lucy
Record added: Jan 31, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33437687
Added: Aug. 24, 2013
Barbara, You did a wonderful job of narrowing AC's life into a few paragraphs. I really miss all that was done in Hanksville. That was a magical few years of my life. AC was so exhuberant, not afraid of much and good sense. We had so much fun on that hors...(Read more)|
Added: May. 17, 2011
Not lost to memory! Not lost to love! But gone to our Father's house above!|
Added: Aug. 13, 2010
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