Terry Lee Oestman 1955-2021

Terry Lee Oestman was born January 8, 1955 in Wray, CO to Dallas and Patty Oestman, the oldest of five siblings. He passed away on November 25, 2021 after a brief illness.
Terry grew up north of Wray doing all things sandhillers do: fishing on Sundays, rattlesnake hunting, chasing deer, coyotes, or whatever was in season, sometimes chasing sister, Connie, with a cork gun loaded with stickers. The Oestman siblings spent a lot of time raising cane and watermelons. Sometimes both at the same time. There is a particular memory involving upperclassmen bringing their dates to the watermelon patch and being caught by shotgun wielding Oestmans. Much to Terry’s delight, the upperclassmen retreated, leaving their dates to fend for themselves.
At Wray High School, Terry excelled at sports. At 125 pounds, he proudly played nose guard for the Eagles football team wearing purple with pride. Where he really excelled was on the wrestling mat. Being a lightweight, he met every opponent with tenacity and captured a state title in 1973 and runner-up in 1971. Terry graduated with lifetime friends in 1973.
After a short time at Western State University, Terry returned to the sandhills and started farming and ranching with his family. Terry was always walking with his eyes down searching the earth for artifacts and was always coming back with arrowheads and other treasures to add to his collection.
Terry moved to his Grandpa Neuschwanger’s farm and took over operations there in 1975, where he met Nora Kay Brophy. Two farming families merged on April 3, 1976. To this union were born three children: Molly, Mark, and Luke. During this time, Terry watched his kids grow and his corn pop up in rows. He worked hard to provide for them and supplemented his farm by selling NC+ seed corn to his friends and neighbors.
He learned to appreciate wearing red while his children attended the Yuma schools but grew to love it as he began coaching wrestling for the Yuma Indians in 2000. Coach O. mentored and coached many athletes sharing his wisdom about the sport he loved as well as sprinkling some advice that would carry them through life. His title changed to “Big O” as his son, Mark (“Little O”), joined him in his coaching endeavors. He always said a basketball court never looked so good as when it was covered in wrestling mats. (Besides, basketballs gave you warts.) During this time, his family grew to include many young men and women he thought of as his own.
As the farm grew with the help of his son, Mark, technology advanced dramatically in agriculture. He would say that he could plant straighter rows than any GPS. While farming and coaching were his passion, Terry also was involved in the community, serving on the Plains Telephone Board for 20+ years, the Water Board, and all things Eckley Community Center. Terry was astute at observing during discussions and interjected his opinion at just the right time with a little humor.
Terry was an amazing example of the vow “til death do us part” as he lost his wife, Kay, in November 2011 after a long battle with cancer. The phrase “It is what it is” became a new part of his vocabulary. He was lucky enough to find love again and spent the last several years on the farm with his girlfriend, Pam Veto.
His greatest accomplishment is his legacy. He would brag to all his friends about his growing number of grandchildren. Right now there are 15 ½ (number 16 is due in 2022) that he lovingly doted on. He made sure they had all the “fun” toys, including water slides in the summer and a go-kart to tear up the circle drive. Terry put in a firepit to ensure the grandkids would be able to make smores and have endless hours of fun. He shared his hot tub, which seemed like the greatest “pool” in the world to the grands! He was the best guide, not only in life, but also to find deer and took great pleasure in watching from the next hill as his grandkids filled their tags. An extension of this legacy was that Terry didn’t know a stranger and made sure all who crossed his path left a little better than they were. He was very proud of every “kid” he coached and was a part of many special occasions as an honored guest.
Terry was preceded in death by his wife, Kay, parents, Dallas and Patty Oestman, in-laws, Jim and Dorothy Brophy, brothers-in-law, Chuck and Rick Brophy, & sister-in-law, Teresa Brophy Lanser.
He is survived and missed by his girlfriend, Pam Veto, daughter, Molly Brunk, sons, Mark (Dessany) and Luke (Angela), 15 ½ grandchildren: Braden, Gemma, Dallas, Ellie, Clara, Charles, Isabel, Maizy, Benjamin, Regina, Gabriel, Damien, Joshua, Bernadette, Simon & Baby O (due in 2022), siblings, Steve (Lori) of Wray, Ronnie (April) of Wray, Connie (Tim) Schott of Sterling, Brent (Whitney) of Flagler, in-laws, Joni (Tom) Colwell of Atchison, KS, Maureen (Joe) Turney of Eureka, MO, Marty Brophy of Eckley, Peggy Brophy of Yuma, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, wrestlers, friends, and the infamous Brew Crew.
Recitation of the Rosary- Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6:00 P.M. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Yuma, Colorado
Funeral Service – Friday, December 3, 2021 at 2:00 P.M. at the Eckley Community Center in Eckley, Colorado with Curtis Brophy officiating the service. Baucke Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.