Minot attorney Jeffrey Lee Sheets, 49, died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in his home.
Jeffrey Lee Sheets was born Aug. 19, 1963, to Harold Terry and Leona (Lindberg) Sheets in Waco, Texas. He attended elementary school in Belcourt and Minot. Jeff graduated from Powers Lake High School in 1981. He attended North Dakota State University, Dickinson State and earned his juris doctorate from the University of North Dakota School of Law.
Jeff was involved in the junior youth rodeo association and won his all-around trophy saddle in 1978. He was very involved in horse shows and loved studying all of the bloodlines and breeds. Jeff also participated in football for Powers Lake and received awards in that sport.
Jeff was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar Association in 1992. He served as the state's attorney for Dunn, Sioux and Burke counties of North Dakota. Jeff was the chief judge for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and was a public defender for the Three Affiliated Tribes. At the time of his death, Jeff was in practice with his own law firm, which he and and his wife Leigh built together.
Jeff was proud to sponsor the North Dakota High School Rodeo Association year-end saddle in the bareback and enjoyed sponsoring any other rodeo event to promote the sport.
Jeff was united in marriage to Leigh Cudmore on June 21, 2003, in Eagle Butte, S.D. Jeff instantly became a father to three, Lane Thomas, Sydney Justene and Dee'Laney Shay. The family made their home at Selfridge for a year before moving to Minot. Two more little cowboys came along and completed the family. Bodie Albert and Tygan Mervel were daddy's right hand little men.
Jeff has always been involved in the sport of rodeo. A very special person, Mervel Hall, assisted Jeff in learning the ropes as well as his mother, Leona, who hauled Jeff and his brother Scott to the best rodeo schools she could find.
Soon the family was hauling Lane, Syd and Dee to all the youth rodeos they could find, and Jeff was passing on his knowledge of horses, horsemanship and the dedication required to compete. He stepped in a couple times announcing at the rodeos and judged at some too. Jeff “cracked out” again in the bareback riding a couple years ago just so the kids could see him ride. The saying that came out of that was “I may be stupid . . . but I ain't chicken.” He will be deeply missed by all who shared in his life.
Jeffrey is survived by his wife, Leigh, Minot; children, Lane, Sydney, Dee'Laney, Bodie and Tygan, all of Minot; mother, Leona (Mervel Hall) Sheets, New Town; brother, Scott (Karla) Sheets, Williston; nieces, Kayla, Shannon and Megan; nephews, Denver and Dawson; aunts, Phyllis James Hall, Michigan, Carolyn (Lynn) Kranzler, Eugene, Ore. and Beverly Joan Elsberrry, La Grande, Ore.; mother-in-law, Mona Demery, Eagle Butte, S.D.; brother-in-laws, Gary (Nikki) Cudmore, Dupree, S.D. and George Cudmore, Mobridge, S.D.; sisters-in-law, Dani Cudmore and Rita (Mike) Lafferty both of Eagle Butte, S.D., and Mona (Kyle) Cudmore, Aberdeen, S.D.; and special family friends, Larry (Karen) Schafer, Maryland.
Jeff was preceded in death by his father, Harold Terry Sheets; maternal grandparents, Albert and Margaret Lindberg; paternal grandparents, Harold and Marjorie Sheets; and his uncles, Tuffy Lindberg and James Sheets.
A funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan, 12, in Our Redeemer's Lutheran Brethren Church, Minot.
Interment will follow at Eagle Butte Cemetery, Eagle Butte, S.D. in the spring of 2013.
Visitation will be held Friday, Jan. 11, from 2 until 6 p.m. at the Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
January 10, 2013