Dennis Moedl, 75, passed away of natural causes at his home at Henry’s Lake, Idaho, on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013.
Dennis was born June 23, 1938, in Idaho Falls to Elmer Moedl and Iola Lewis Moedl and was raised in Grant, Idaho. He graduated from Rigby High School, attended Moscow University and served in the National Guard.
Dennis’ father purchased what was to become Meadow Vue Ranch on Henry’s Lake in the late 1940s. After Dennis’ father died, he took over the day-to-day operations of the ranch. For over 60 years, Dennis fought to preserve his way of life and protect the place that he called home.
Dennis had many cowboy adventures over the years, such as trailing cattle to the ranch from the winter feeding grounds, roping a bear, breaking horses, holding an annual cutting event on his ranch and working cattle in Arizona and California. Dennis was one of the last real cowboys, a character right out of an old Western movie. He valued a hard day’s work, a good horse, the open range and his family. Besides raising cattle and horses, Dennis also raised a family on the ranch.
Twenty-one years ago, Dennis opened up the ranch to the public. He wanted to share a little piece of the ranching lifestyle. He started with trail rides, twice-weekly barbecues and rodeos while running nearly 1,000 head of cattle.
Shortly after the trail rides and barbecues started, Dennis added a summer youth program. Dennis was an expert horseman and instructor with a lifetime full of experience. Dennis loved working with camp participants. For years, he spent nearly every day during the summer riding alongside the camp participants from around the world, teaching them about horsemanship and what it means to be a cowboy. Dennis had a love for rodeo and provided rough stock for high school rodeo contests in the area.
In the past few years, Dennis had to slow down due to health issues, but he was still out there riding and helping the kids. Because of Dennis’ hard work and “never give up” attitude, five generations of the Moedl family have been able to spend time with him on the ranch. Dennis’ wish for the future is that Meadow Vue Ranch will be a place where future generations of his family can continue to run the ranch and guests will be able to experience a part of the cowboy way of life.
Dennis is survived by three children, Mike (Michelle) Moedl, Tracy (Dennis) Wohlschlegel and Julia (Devin) Park; one brother, Lynn (Larue) Moedl; and three sisters, Maxine (Bob) Burbank, Renee Baker and Roxann (Ray) Stanger. Dennis is also survived by six grandchildren, Colt, CJ, Cody, Casey, Jason and Kayla; and three great-grandchildren, Ella, Carsten and Paislee.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Val Moedl; and brother-in-law, Tom Baker.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.