TORRINGTON – On Sunday, July 5, 2020, Juel Afdahl, 48, passed away in his home, surrounded by family, after a courageous 2-1/2 year battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. Because of his tremendous faith and relationship with God, he inspired many during his battle, never once complaining.
Juel was born on Nov. 20, 1971, in Faith, S.D., to George and Annelle (Ellefson) Afdahl, joining siblings Georgia, Jerry and Joel. After graduating from Faith High School, Juel attended Sheridan College where he met the love of his life, Tami Schrater.
The pair finished their degrees at Black Hills State University and were married on March 11, 1995. They raised two sons, Canton and Blake. Juel later went on to complete a master’s degree from Lesley University.
Juel spent his career as a teacher. He taught briefly at Takini schools in South Dakota before accepting a teaching position at Torrington High School in the fall of 2000. He served as a Business Instructor, Facilitator of the Community Resource Training program and most recently served as co-instructor across the Career and Technical Education programs. During his tenure he served as a head golf coach, activities supervisor and served on the school leadership team. Juel had a special connection with students based on mutual respect and could reach them in ways that others couldn’t.
Juel spent many years roping and rodeoing and passed that love on to his boys. Together they spent hours in the practice pen and traveling to rodeos throughout the region. He was always the guy at the roping boxes helping out and the one many young cowboys asked to push a calf, tail a steer, or just get general feedback from about their draw, their horse, or their run.
Juel served on the board for the Wyoming High School Rodeo Association and could always be found helping in the arena. He coached both of the boys in Little League baseball and football.
Family was a priority with Juel and he was happiest when spending time with family, regardless of the activity. When the boys were competing, Juel would tell them, “Get your mind right and be aggressive.” That is the same motto he and his family used during his cancer battle. Juel will always be remembered for his infectious smile and laugh.
Grateful for sharing in his life are all of his family and friends, including wife Tami; sons Canton (22) and Blake (18); parents George and Annelle Afdahl of Faith, S.D.; sister Georgia (Jeff) Stocklin of Ten Sleep, brother Jerry (Lori) Afdahl of Kingwood, Texas, and brother Joel (Claudine) Afdahl of Faith; mother-in-law Roberta Schrater of Buffalo; and brother-in-law Steve (Shawna) Schrater, Gillette, along with several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
He was proceeded in death by his grandparents, several aunts and uncles, his father-in-law, and a special infant Godson Mason Peterson.
A casual Celebration of Life to honor this great man will be at 1:30 p.m., Monday, July 27. The exact location will be shared at a later date based on current health order restrictions.
Juel was passionate about helping others. In lieu of flowers, please consider helping someone in need or planting a tree in his memory. Memorial gifts can be sent to the Juel Afdahl family with a memorial benefiting students established at a later date.
A casual Celebration of Life to honor Juel V. Afdahl will be 1:30 p.m., Monday, July 27, at the Rendezvous Center at the Goshen County Fairgrounds.