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Posted on Feb 22, 2021
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Garrett Wade Nokes 1975 - 2021

 Garrett Wade Nokes, 45, of McCook, Nebraska died February 14, 2021 after a horse accident.

Garrett was born on November 21, 1975 in McCook to Ray and Brenda (Bolen) Nokes. His life began with a tractor ride halfway to town in a blizzard to get to the hospital. He attended District 8 School south of McCook until the eighth grade and graduated in 1994 from McCook High School. Garrett was active in the Little Britches Rodeo Association and Nebraska High School Rodeo Association winning many honors. He went on to rodeo in college at Panhandle State University in Goodwell, OK and helped lead the team to back-to-back national championships. Garrett’s dream from a little boy was to be a PRCA rodeo cowboy and he began rodeoing professionally in 1996. Garrett was a tremendous all-around cowboy and won many all-around titles including the All-Around at Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Denver Stock Show, and the Prairie Circuit. He also won many steer wrestling, calf roping and team roping titles at both the professional and amateur level. The highlight of his career was qualifying in the steer wrestling for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2005, winning the first round with a 3.6. He finished the year fourth in the world. He continued rodeoing in the Nebraska State Rodeo Association, the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association, and the Mid-States Rodeo Association up to his death. In 2017, Garrett and his partner Scott Smith won the Ariat World Series #12 roping in Las Vegas, which was a life changing event for his family.

Garrett was a substitute teacher in between rodeos when he met his wife Laura, the behavior specialist for McCook Public Schools. Garrett always said that job set Laura up to be a successful rodeo wife and to handle him. They were married on May 17, 2003 and bought the farm he grew up on. Trevor Ray was born December 29, 2004 and Garrett said he was his lucky charm that helped him make it to the NFR. Parker Wade came along on April 21, 2008 the day after a big team roping. In fact, Garrett delayed Laura getting to the hospital so he could fill out the deposit slip from the roping. In 2014 Garrett became the timed event head coach for Mid Plains Community College. He enjoyed helping college students be their best inside and outside of the arena. He has helped several students make it the College National Finals and his team has won the Great Plains region title in 2016-17 and reserve in 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020. Garrett was named Great Plains Region Coach of the Year in 2020. Currently, the team is ranked first in the region.

Garrett is survived by his wife of almost 18 years, Laura and their boys, Trevor and Parker; his father, Ray (Pam) Nokes; mother, Brenda (Stephen) Morell; brother, Justen (Ashley) Nokes; step-brother, Jeff (Sheryl) Hager; step-sisters, Brooke Hager, Elizabeth Morell and Katherine (Matt) Johnson; grandmother, Marlene Bolen; and mother-in-law, Mary Ann Ebmeier. He is also survived by his aunts, uncles, and many nieces and nephews.

Garrett was preceded in death by his grandparents: Mel and Nada Nokes, Bill Bolen, Rex and Avis Morell, Lester and Wanda Malleck; and father-in-law, Darold Ebmeier.


“IT’S A GREAT DAY TO HAVE A GREAT DAY”, link to the special farewell from Mid Plains Community College. https://www.thefencepost.com/news/rodeo-team-friends-reflect-on-time-spent-with-garrett-nokes/

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