Meredith Duane “Punk” Worth was born on April 3, 1931, in Winner, SD to Elwood and Frances (McBride) Worth. Punk passed away in his ranch home surrounded by loved ones May 2, 2023, at the age of 92 years and 29 days.
After Meredith was born, his mother took him home in a shoebox. He was so small (weighing just four pounds at birth), his mom called him her little “Pumpkin Seed”. It didn’t take long for “Pumpkin Seed” to become “Punk”, and to this day, many people do not know Punk’s given name on his birth certificate. Punk attended numerous grade schools in Keya Paha County and graduated from Keya Paha County High School in 1948. On May 18, 1952, Punk married Enid Lorraine Graham in Ainsworth, NE. To this union, two children were born: son, Ronald Scott, and daughter, Lorraine Alice. May 18th of this year would have marked Punk and Enid’s 71st wedding anniversary.
In May of 1962, Punk and Enid purchased the Charlie Simons Ranch by Norden, Neb. They began raising Hereford cattle, and over the years transitioned to a totally black Angus herd. Asking Punk what he liked doing best, he’d say, “Raising and working with livestock, and producing the best mother cow possible”. He raised high quality beef cattle and owned some darn good ranch horses in his day. In earlier years, Punk also raised and sold pigs, milked cows, farmed and put up a lot of hay. After selling his cow herd in the early 2000’s, Punk was still active in developing heifers, feeding and caring for take-in cattle, and haying. At this time, he also became active in antique tractor pulling contests.
He was a member of the Borderline Tractor Pullers for twelve years, winning numerous awards. He still went to the hayfield every summer, running the swather, rake and baler for the last time in the summer of 2022 at 91 years of age. This last winter, he spent many hours in his tractors plowing and moving snow. He was always making improvements to his ranch, and enjoyed woodworking and welding. If he could make it with his own two hands, he sure wasn’t going to buy it! Punk had a very creative and sharp mind right up to the end. Three days before he passed, he was still giving orders about “things that needed to be done”.
In his younger days, Punk was an active member of the Meadville Roping Club. He was an avid supporter of rodeo his entire life. He served as the rodeo chairman for the Keya Paha County Fair and Rodeo for 35 years, negotiating many contracts with rodeo stock contractors along the way.
In 2017, Punk was inducted into the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. This nomination and his induction humbled him greatly. He became a huge supporter of the association and attended the annual banquet and induction ceremony each year.
Punk loved music and dancing. He was a drummer and played in numerous country western bands for the past 66 years. From barns, clubs, bars, pavilions, outdoor stages, garages, senior centers, and assisted living facilities, he played and danced in them all. Wherever they went, Punk and Enid were always the envy of most dancers on the dance floor as watching them dance together was mesmerizing.
Punk was a staunch patriot and a Korean War Veteran serving in the United States Army from September 1952 to September 1954. He is a 67 year member of American Legion Post #98, where he still held the position of commander at his passing.
Punk was a huge community supporter all his life. He served on the Keya Paha County Ag Society for 35 years holding the positions of secretary, vice president, and president. He has been on the Keya Paha County Fire Board for 37 years, a director on the KBR Rural Public Power Board for 23 years, a 53-year member of the Elks Lodge #1790 and was a Charter Member of the American Legion Post #98 Honor Guard.
Punk was preceded in death by his parents Elwood and Frances Worth Dixon; step-father Arnold Dixon; sister Carole (Worth) and husband Gene Cullison; brother Bobby Gene Worth; father-in-law Casey Graham; mother-in-law Alice Graham; sister-in-law Avis (Graham) and husband Bill Hollopeter; nephew Robert Gene Cullison, and great-granddaughter Violet Grace Olson.
Punk is survived by his wife Enid; son Ron; daughter Lorraine; brother Malvern “Corky” (Janet) Worth, all of Springview. Grandchildren: Troy (Angie) Worth of Imperial, NE, Mitch Worth of Springview, Brittany (Chad) Olson of Valentine, NE; sister-in-law Aliene (Graham) Clark of Rock Springs, WY; brother-in-law Gerry (Stella) Graham of Ainsworth; great-grandchildren Hayden, Hadley, Henley, Parker and Kwynn, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services were held on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at the Keya Paha High School in Springview. Pastor Sam Courts officiated at the service.
Memorials were suggested to Springview American Legion Post #98, Springview Fire and Rescue Department and the Nebraska Sandhills Cowboy Hall of Fame. Interment was in the Mt. Hope Cemetery at Springview under the direction of the Hoch Funeral Home of Ainsworth. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hochfuneralhome.com