Sharon Idell Berndt was born on November 2, 1942, in Sidney, MT.
Along with her parents, Adolph and Jorine Burkhardt, and her siblings Garret Burkhardt, Barry Burkhardt and Peggy (Burkhardt) Scanson, Sharon was raised on a working cattle ranch in Medora, N.D. Growing up on the ranch taught her the value of hard work, dedication and perseverance, which she applied to become a high school national champion breakaway roper in 1960. In 1961, Sharon was named “Miss Rodeo North Dakota” — which helped change the course of her life.
While attending the Denver National Stock Show in conjunction with her Miss Rodeo activities, Sharon attended a gala event at the Brown Palace in Denver. Her escort for the evening was Ron Berndt, who was working as a cowboy living in Mandan, N.D. Little did they know at the time, their auspicious meeting would lead to a lifelong love, a 60-plus year marriage, two children, Jeff Berndt and Jodie (Berndt) Stockett and two grandchildren, John and Luke Stockett. Married on November 25, 1961, Sharon and Ron Berndt embarked on a lifelong adventure highlighted by a series of businesses associated with the western lifestyle both cherished.
The couple purchased their first ranch together in 1973 in New Hradec, North Dakota, raising Quarter Horses. A year later, the couple purchased a ranch in Elizabeth, CO and continued to expand their horse operation. They lived in Colorado for four years before moving to Tecumseh, OK in the fall of 1978.
Sharon and Ron would relocate to Hudson, CO in 1982, adding two business ventures while in Colorado: Manufacturing western horse tack and equipment and creating a western art business, “Cowhorse Gallery.”
After successfully selling the tack and equipment business, the couple focused on their growing art business, showcasing many of the country’s top contemporary artists. The art business saw them enjoy travels and shows across the western United States, attending events such as The National Cutting Horse Futurity, Denver National Western Stock Show, The National Finals Rodeo, The National Quarter Horse Association, among others. The couple was also actively involved in the horse sale business and set up art exhibits at events. ranches and sales in the western United States — while always remaining active in the Quarter Horse business.
The couple lived in several West Texas communities prior to retiring: Canyon, Snyder, Goodnight, and Claude — and wintered at their home in Mesa, AZ with friends and family from 2015-2020.
Sharon passed peacefully surrounded by family and caregivers on November 4, 2022, after suffering a life-altering stroke in the spring of 2017. During her rehabilitation and adjustments, Sharon was aided throughout her physical decline by Ron, a series of caregivers and family until her passing. During her physical challenges, she maintained her wit, sense of humor, memories and touched many who came to care and visit.
She is survived by her husband, Ron; her brothers, Garret and Barry (wife Kari); her sister, Peggy Scanson (Mike); her sister-in-law, Rogene Hersch; her children Jeff Berndt and Jodie (Berndt) Stockett and her husband Wes; and grandson, Luke Stockett. She is preceded in death by her parents, Adolph and Jorine Burkhardt; sister-in-law, Kris Burkhardt (Garret); and grandson, John Stockett.
A Visitation will be held at the Boxwell Claude Chapel from 5 – 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at 2 p.m., at the Claude Methodist Church, officiated by Dan Carter. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
The family wishes to extend gratitude to the many caregivers, friends, and family who assisted with Sharon’s care during the latter stages of life. The family suggests memorial offerings in Sharon’s name be donated to the Working Ranch Cowboys Association: Crisis Fund (wrca.org); Claude Methodist Church, or charity of choice.