Stephen V. Lance
When people asked Steve what the “V” stood for, he told them it was for “Valuable”.
It actually stands for “Vailey”. Stephen Vailey Lance, Jr.
Born September 14, 1923, in Graham, MO
Graduated from Horace Mann High School in 1942, Maryville, MO
Joined the Marines in 1944. Stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA where he and his Marine Buddies would frequent Oliver Hardy’s pad. Also during his Marine days, some Marine Buddies tried to get Steve to audition for Frank Sinatra as he had a wonderful singing voice, but soon got shipped out to war. He was a parachute rigger stationed in Okinawa and Laytay during World War II . And was honorably discharged in 1946.
Married Wanda Adams, September 12, 1947, in St Joseph, MO. Which in September would have been 58 years of marriage. He Started work as a livestock buyer at Swift Packing Co, St Joseph, MO 1947-1953.
They had two daughters, Lawana, and Vickie while in St. Joe.
He was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. In 1952 he joined the Masons, In 1953 he joined the 32 nd Degree Lodge and in 1954 joined the Shriners at MOILA Temple all in St. Joseph, MO. And remained a proud Mason till the day he died.
Started working for Dubuque Packing Co in 1953, then transferred to Cameron, WI to run a buying station in 1955.
He Moved to Mora, MN in 1958 opening a buying station for Dubuque Packing Co. then started a buying station in Bloomer,WI in 1961.
Had a daughter Stephenie in 1962 in Bloomer, WI.
He was then transferred to Milwaukee Stockyards in 1968. In 1981 he retired from Dubuque Packing Co. and started with a commission firm J P Bremmer at the Milwaukee Stockyards, ending his cattle business with OK Order Buyers also at the Milwaukee Stockyards and retired in 1989.
Steve was an avid golfer from 1947 to 1962 when he started in the Sport of Horsepulling in 1959. Actually, he taught his wife to golf, but when her trophies started to overshadow his, he thought horse pulling wouldn’t be a bad sport at all! Although occasionally golfing …..his first love became horse pulling. Steve’s love for the draft horse was undying through the end of his life.
He was a very dedicated Horseman …..How Dedicated? Well, His wife always said that if she had a Mane and Tail, that he would pay more attention to her.
In 1970’s Steve and his Heavyweight team “Rock and Dan” made a television commercial for FS Feeds.
He worked with the Wisconsin State Legislation for prohibiting the administration of drugs to horses competing at Horse Pulling Contests.
In 1987, Steve and his wife received honors from both the Wisconsin Horsepulling Assoc and the Dairyland Horsepulling Assoc for their untiring efforts in promoting the draft horse.
Steve was a Charter member of the P.O.H, Ltd and was always eager to help put on a Good Horsepulling Contest. His main goal was to get the puller some good prize money for their hard work.
He started pulling horses while in Mora, MN, from fellow friend, Chuck Schaaf,Sr, Wisconsin. He pulled horses until he purchased the horse pulling dynamometer in 1974 and has run the dynamometer through 2004.
Steve sat on the Wisconsin Horsepuller’s Association Board as President and Vice President within a 10-year span AND was inducted into the Wisconsin Horsepullers Hall of Fame in 1995.
He has been Superintendent of the Wisconsin State Fair Horsepulling contests for 36 years.
Steve has been a Great Husband, Daddy, Father-in-Law, Granddad and Great-Granddad to his loving family, where he taught them to respect the American Flag, always have a touch of humor and show respect to your loved ones.
Steve chooses to be cremated and have his ashes sprinkled over the horse track in which he drove horses with his son-in-law, Mike, for many years. The driving of horses has been excellent therapy for Steve when he was recuperating from Surgery or battling cancer.
His children are so happy that their folks have been healthy enough to travel to the South for the Winter, going to Ferrell Seals in Mississippi - Visiting relatives in Arizona, California and Idaho - and lately staying with the Yoder’s in Florida and even help drive a pair of horses there. He and Wanda will never forget the hospitality they were given from their many friends.
Ill health is what took Steve on July 5th at 7:50 AM. The family thought it was fitting that he try dying on July 4th being the Flag Loving Veteran he was. Although very hard to handle, Most of his family sat with him in his time of need until his last breath - just as he’s been there for them through their whole life.
God Bless Stephen Vailey Lance!
presented by: Daughter, Vickie Lance-Zibell paragraph here.