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Grady R. Word

Grady Richard Word of Hermosa, SD died Saturday morning July 8, 2006 at Rapid City Regional Hospital as the result of a horse related accident. Grady was the oldest of four boys born to Don and Phyllis Word of Belvidere, SD on May 26, 1957. Grady was very proud of his Word family name and studied passionately his family heritage.

Grady’s life followed many passions. One was his genuine love for horses and cattle. Raised in a ranching background Grady was most proud to ride among his friends and neighbors and do cattle work. All who knew him respected Grady as a true cattleman and cowboy. Grady was gifted with what it took to raise a premium cow herd. He and his brother Don started Word Brother’s Maine Anjou Cattle Breeding Program that went on to win championships at the Denver and Black Hills Stock Shows several times. One of Grady’s greatest joys was to see his brother, nieces and nephew do well with cattle he helped breed and raise.

Grady later took this God given talent and applied it to the horse-breeding program he and wife Kelli developed. Grady and Kelli started with a small number of race bred mares that they raised or leased from Kelli’s Dad, Darrell Powers, a well known and respected race horse breeder and trainer in the Northern Plains. Kelli and Grady focused specifically on breeding colts with speed that have the minds to go to the arena. Those horses are now competing at some of the highest levels of pro rodeo. Again, Grady’s greatest joy is to see friends and family do well on horses he had a part in raising.

Grady’s first passion was his family and friends. Grady and his loving wife Kelli Word were married on March 19,1993. Grady had two children -- a daughter Keenie Marie Word, eleven years old and step-son Jesse Thomas Tierney, 24 years old. Always excited about each new day, Grady strived to be a positive part of everyone’s life.

Whether it was a singing engagement for Keenie, a rodeo for Jesse or something special for his wife, he always gave selflessly to make things better for those around him.

However, Grady’s biggest passion is the one he would most like to be remembered for and that is his love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Grady wanted nothing more than for you to know he had a friend named Jesus. He often said “all I really know is that Jesus loves me.” Grady sought to live each day showing God’s love and compassion to everyone around him. If you met Grady one time you were his friend and he would always treat you like one no matter who you were. Even more, when you met him you wanted to be his friend. He was a kind, honest, patient, humble and loving man and you felt like a better person after spending time with him. He was a great man and will be truly missed, but will always be remembered for a kind word that might make you laugh or a soft touch when you needed it. We will remember him most for his total surrender to his greatest passion, Jesus Christ.

Grady is survived by his loving wife Jeryl Kelleen (Kelli) Word, one daughter Keenie Marie Word, one step-son Jesse Thomas Tierney, his mother Phyllis Word, two brothers Dave Word and John Word, uncles, aunts, cousins and a legend of friends who loved him dearly. Grady is preceded in death by father Don G. Word and brother Don Clay Word.

A viewing was held at Kirk Funeral Home, 1051 E. Minnesota Street, Rapid City, SD from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11th, 2006. Memorial services were held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 12th 2006 at the Custer County Fair Grounds Arena in Hermosa, SD.

Everyone who knew Grady and Kelli were encouraged to come and celebrate life with them. A “Just Jesus -- Grady Word Memorial” fund has been established at P.O. Box 123; Hermosa, SD 57744.