Con (infamously known as Buz) Short was born in Killdeer on July 22, 1937, the son of Don and Edith (Whittemore) Short. He died on July 18, 2016, at Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. MDT Friday, Aug. 5, at the Beach Community Center.
Con claimed to be the smartest of his three siblings — Anne, Connie and Suzi — but that was never proven. He was raised on a cattle ranch on the Little Missouri River north of Medora. The Short Ranch was his first love — Con took great pride in being a real cowboy.
He graduated with the class of 1955 from Beach High School before attending Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He cherished the lifelong friendships made at the Phi Kappa Psi house and thought the movie Animal House was written about his fraternity. At ISU, he met the true love of his life, Sandra Taylor, and they married on July 2, 1960.
Con and Sandy moved to the Short Ranch and made it their home, raising their three children — Don, Dave and Sarah. Their home in Beach and the Short Ranch were always open to other family and friends, many of them becoming part of the family, including Doug Northrop, Clint Cook and Mike Houle. After 45 years of ranching, Con and Sandy moved to Marshalltown, Iowa, to run Taylor's Maid-Rite.
Con served in the North Dakota Air National Guard, was a member of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, and served on the Medora Grazing Association and North Dakota Brand Boards. He was instrumental in starting the Beach ambulance service, and in later years, he faithfully supported the local Beach coffee shops and Taylor's Maid-Rite.
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Con and Sandy loved collecting North Dakota and Red Wing Pottery. Con was the second president of the North Dakota Pottery Collectors Society and was a 38-year member of the Red Wing Collectors Society. He and his son, Dave, gave many seminars about Red Wing stoneware — which Con considered to be the hottest ticket at the annual conventions — and their entertaining banter and enthusiasm for Saltglaze would fill the room. He and Sandy always sat in the front row of the auctions, hands held high. They have acquired a second family of NDPCS and Red Wing members whose friendships are truly priceless.
Con's love of life was infectious, and he took great pride in his family and their accomplishments. He considered his greatest achievement his children, grandchildren, and many friendships. He never met a stranger and would talk to anyone, whether they wanted to chat or not. Con had a gift for making everyone around him feel special. To say he will be missed is an understatement.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sandy; their three children, Don (Julie), Des Moines, Iowa, Dave (Tani), Mesa, Ariz., and Sarah (Steve) Sarbacker, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Doug Northrup, Des Moines, Iowa; his grandchildren, Zac and Lexi Short, Isaac and Lydia Sarbacker, and Avery Short; his sisters, Anne Johnson, Larimore, Connie (Paul) McDonald, Bedford, Texas, and Suzi (Dan Dinkle) Williams, Bismarck; his sister-in-law, Marlene Taylor, Marshalltown, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews and their children.
In death, he will join his parents, Don and Edith Short; his in-laws, Don and Polly Taylor; and his brothers-in-law, Ken Johnson and Tom Taylor.
A memorial service was held July 22 in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Con always hoped to make the world a better place by simply being kind and generous to others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Beach Food Pantry or charitable organization of choice.