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22-year-old Nebraska rancher killed in crash remembered for strong work ethic

22-year-old Nebraska rancher killed in crash remembered for strong work ethic

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Ty and Shelby Milleson

Ty Milleson with his wife, Shelby, on their wedding day in August. He was killed Sept. 18 in a crash near Dunning, Nebraska.

Ty Milleson was all about life on the ranch.

He knew cattle, horses and tractors.

But he also knew exactly how he wanted his wedding to look, from the groomsmen’s attire to the photography.

The pandemic wasn’t going to stop him from marrying his bride in early August.

The Dunning, Nebraska, man was excited to celebrate his marriage with family and friends.

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But the happiness was short-lived. Milleson, 22, was killed in a car crash Sept. 18 on Nebraska Highway 91 near Dunning. He and his wife, Shelby, were returning home after dove hunting with friends. She remains in the hospital.

“It’s hard to know how happy they were and how happy they were going to be,” said Milleson’s mother, Michelle Milleson. “They had such a life ahead of them. It’s heartbreaking to know how happy and perfect they were.”

Ty Milleson grew up in Dunning, about 40 miles northwest of Broken Bow.

He started competing in rodeos at 3 years old. During his rodeo career, he nabbed more than 80 belt buckles from competitions in Nebraska and surrounding states.

In Milleson’s free time, you could find him practicing his rodeo skills. His mother said the family wouldn’t install lights in his practice area because then he never would go to sleep.

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His older sister Chantelle remembers how her brother would discipline himself if he had a bad run. He would hop off his horse and do 10 or 20 pushups before trying again.

After graduating from Sandhills High School in 2016, Milleson went on to receive a degree in agribusiness from a junior college in Colorado. He then returned home to help run the family ranch, his mother said.

Michelle Milleson said her son hated sitting still or being inside, and always found work to do on the ranch. He often multitasked while tackling his chores. He made a habit of calling his friends and chatting with them while in the tractor or on his horse.

“He wanted things done right, done Ty’s way,” his mother said. “Ty loved his playtime, but he always put work first.”

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Milleson pursued a number of hobbies, including auctioneering. He learned to trim and shoe horses as well as train them. He was an avid hunter and particularly enjoyed deer hunting.

He was a member of the volunteer fire department, was an amateur photographer and had started building up his cattle herd.

“Everything Ty wanted to do or tried to do, he would do it perfectly,” his mother said. “If he went with something, he went full board. He never quit.”

Milleson met his wife in 2018 through mutual friends. He became a constant in her life, especially after the sudden death of her father, Michelle Milleson said.

Visitation will be held Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the Sandhills High School gymnasium in Dunning. A funeral service will follow at 3 p.m.

In addition to his mother, wife and older sister, survivors include his father, Ryan; sister Shaylee; grandparents; aunts and uncles; and cousins.

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