Georgie Sicking: 1921-2016
Georgie Connell Sicking was born May 20, 1921, in Seligman, Arizona, to Oscar and Mayne Connell. Georgie received her name because her parents who were expecting a boy, and George was the only name they had picked out. Her father, Oscar, was a rancher, cowboy and mustanger in the desert of Arizona. Georgie grew up in this lifestyle, and became one of the first women to gather wild cattle and horses in Arizona. She became a legend in the area, riding, roping, branding mavericks and promoting the western way of life. She could shoe her own horses and doctor them when needed.
She married Frank Sicking in 1940. Together they worked for various ranches in Arizona. Georgie worked alongside the other hands, although not always for the same salary. The men learned to respect her ability to ride and rope with the best of them. Her goal was always to be a “Top Hand.” From early on, she had no use for the word “can’t.” She knew there was always a way to get things done, and taught her kids to believe that as well.
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Together Georgie and her husband had three children: Joe, Sue, and Eddie. The family moved throughout Arizona, California and Nevada for many years, working for other ranchers, gathering wild horses and cattle. When they moved to Fallon, Nevada, they owned their own. Georgie was in a world of her own running and roping wild horses. Frank became a brand inspector in Fallon, Nevada; and Georgie began barrel racing successfully.
Frank was killed in a woodcutting accident on Nov. 7, 1974. Georgie worked various jobs to keep the family going; she worked at various stock yards and ran cattle. After a few years she went back to Arizona, and worked for a ranch gathering cows. While there she acquired enough cows to take back to their place in Fallon, Nevada.
During her life of hard work, Georgie wrote poetry. A poem would occur and she would scribble it down on whatever was handy. She kept these poems, but never really performed them until 1985, when she was invited to attend and present her poetry at a Cowboy Poetry gathering in Elko, Nevada. This was the beginning of her career as a cowboy poet. Her standards for poems were “Keep it cowboy and keep it clean.” She was invited to numerous Cowboy Poetry Gatherings, and always had her poems memorized.
In 1989 she was inducted in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame as the 1989 Western Heritage Honoree; she received the Pioneer Woman Award at the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration in Lubbock, Texas. In 1994, she received the Gail Gardner Award for “Outstanding Working Cowboy Poet,” and various other awards through the years. She published three books of her original poetry, a CD of cowboy poems and a documentary about her life.
At the age of 56, Georgie began to lose her eyesight, and began to depend more and more on her memory to compose and recite her poems. She moved to Kaycee in 2001, to be close to her daughter, Sue. Georgie continued to recite her poetry and attend cowboy poetry gatherings. Her latest poem, entitled “When I Get to Heaven,” was featured in the October 11th issue of the Kaycee Voice.
Georgie is survived by her daughter, Sue Jarrard and her husband Sonny of Kaycee, Wyoming, son Joe Sicking and his wife Nancy of Winnemucca, Nevada; sisters Emma Jane Brocchini of Oklahoma and Sammie Brockenbury of California. She is preceded in death by her husband, Frank Sicking; son, Edward Sicking and her parents, Oscar and Mayne Connell.
Funeral services for Georgie Sicking, 95 year old Kaycee resident who passed away Sunday afternoon at the Johnson County Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at 1 p.m., at The Gardens Funeral Home in Fallon, Nevada with Jerry Harper officiating. Graveside services will follow at Churchill County Cemetery. Visitation will be Nov. 19, from 11:30 until the beginning of the service. Donations in Georgie’s memory may be made to the Hoofprints of the Past Museum in care of the Harness Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at: http://www.harnessfuneralhome.com.
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